Before the mobile smash hit Flappy Bird dominated the news cycle, Finnish company Rovio ruled the roost with its own group of suicidal avians. Now that Flappy Bird has flown the coop, Rovio is cautiously stepping back into the daylight with a new game in the Angry Birds franchise. The new Angry Birds will feature a fresh flock of birds to toss at the marauding green pigs, as Rovio revealed in a tweet, but we will have to wait until Thursday to learn the title of the game and to see whether or not Rovio has partnered with another major property this time around. This browser-based ripoff of Flappy Bird should tide you over in the meantime.
Although we’ve come to expect the National Security Agency to spy on Internet users by hacking into Microsoft, Google and Facebook’s data centers, even the most cynical among us didn’t imagine that the NSA had similarly latched its tentacles onto Angry Birds. And yet that’s just what we learned on Monday when a Pro Publica investigation found that spy agencies are able to determine an Angry Birds player’s “location, age, sex and other personal information” using data culled from advertising firms such as Millennial Media. More →
Is nothing sacred to the international spy community? According to Pro Publica, leaked British intellgence documents reveal that spy agencies around the world are able to determine “[a] player’s location, age, sex and other personal information” by siphoning data from mobile apps such as Angry Birds. One of the British reports even includes the specific code used to harvest user profiles from Angry Birds. More →
Rovio has confirmed to Washington Post that it did not license Angry Birds to North Korea’s new Android tablet called Samjiyon. The tablet comes preloaded with a pirated version of the game. Samjiyon has been receiving surprisingly hot early reviews and is apparently a perfectly serviceable 7-inch tablet. Some tourists have been snapping up the device in Pyongyang for less than $200, but the price to North Korean elite bureaucrats is closer to $100. More →
Rovio on Monday announced yet another sequel to its immensely popular Angry Birds franchise. Angry Birds Star Wars 2 will continue the story of last year’s Angry Birds Star Wars with new levels, new powers and more than 30 playable characters. Rovio also announced “Telepods,” a tie-in toy that allows gamers to physically transport characters into the game. Angry Birds Star Wars 2 will be available for mobile devices and computers on September 19th. The company did not announce specific platforms, however the original game is available on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and Mac and Windows computers. The Angry Birds Star Wars 2 trailer follows below. More →
Rovio looks set to change its longtime formula for Angry Birds games. In a new website launched this week, Rovio teased a new game called Angry Birds Go! with a short Flash movie depicting one of its famous birds speeding down some sort of racetrack. From the looks of things, it seems that we’re about to get our first-ever Angry Birds racing game although Rovio hasn’t yet posted any specific details about how gameplay will work. In a company blog post, Rovio said that the game would be “Angry Birds, but not as you know it” and that “all your favorite characters are returning for a brand new title that will bring you closer to Piggy Island than ever before.” At the very least, the new game sounds more promising than Rovio’s Angry Birds Soda franchise that’s taken Finland by storm.
A leading Nordic beverage company, Olvi, just reported an 85% increase in soft drink sales and its impressive growth is attributed almost entirely to the new range of Angry Birds sodas. This is one of the most tangible examples of how mobile game companies have started to have an impact on old industries, particularly in Scandinavia where franchises like Minecraft and Angry Birds have recently forged high-profile licensing deals. More →
Rovio has made one its classic mobile games available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch available for free by slashing the prices of Angry Birds and Angry Birds HD to nothing for iOS users in both the United States and United Kingdom. It is unclear if this is a permanent move or just a limited-time offer, however Rovio also removed the free demo versions of the apps, which were limited to only a few levels. Since debuting in 2009, the Angry Birds franchise has found great success and the games have been downloaded more than 1 billion times.
Although every app developer dreams of creating the next big mobile app, it seems that established applications are becoming more firmly entrenched at the top of the food chain. Per Reuters, year-end totals from the Apple (AAPL) App Store and Google (GOOG) Play show that stalwarts such as YouTube, Angry Birds, Instagram and Facebook (FB) “continued to be among the most downloaded apps of the year,” which shouldn’t be too surprising considering that all four are now staples of the mobile computing experience. There were a few newcomers that soared up the charts for iOS and Android, however, including the make-your-own-art game Draw Something, the Paper sketch pad app for the iPad and the Songza music discovery app. Apps have become a more popular way to spend time, as analytics firm Flurry recently found that American consumers now spend 127 minutes per day using mobile apps, up from just 94 minutes per day one year ago.
This past year has shown us how effective leading smartphone and mobile app companies have become at leveraging viral videos. In Ad Age’s top-10 viral videos list for 2012, Samsung (005930) and Rovio each hog two spots. The Angry Birds Space video racked up 109 million views and the Angry Birds Star Wars hit the 41 million view mark. Meanwhile, Samsung managed to get 79 million views for its Galaxy S III video and 42 million views for the LeBron’s Day clip. It’s notable that Rovio’s Angry Birds clips were far cheaper to produce, with no major stars or lavish video production gimmickry. More →
Rovio on Thursday updated its immensely popular Angry Birds Star Wars game to include 20 additional levels. The latest game in the bird-slinging franchise was released earlier this month and was an instant hit, topping the iTunes App Store in less than three hours. In the most recent update, gamers must help the birds escape from the AT-ATs and Pigtroopers on the remote ice world of Hoth. Luckily, the rebel birds have a secret weapon — Princess Leia. More →
Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise has become the toast of Finland, replacing the troubled Nokia (NOK) as the company’s most distinguished brand. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that the Fins have a great deal of pride in their world-famous gaming company, so much so that they’ll even drink Angry Birds-branded soda. The Next Web reports that Rovio’s Angry Birds-branded soda “is said to be outselling Coke and Pepsi in Finland” and will soon hit the shelves in both New Zealand and Australia as well. Does the soda actually taste good? Who knows. But we do know that if it doesn’t, the cans will be super-fun to put in slingshots and launch at neighbors’ houses on Halloween.
How big is Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds Star Wars? The company announced on Friday that its latest Angry Birds game reached the No. 1 spot in the U.S. iTunes App Store in 2.5 hours, beating out the previous record held by last month’s release of Bad Piggies. Rovio didn’t make any announcements on the new game’s performance on Android, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it made a killing on the Google Play Store as well. Angry Birds Star Wars puts the disgruntled little birds in the Star Wars universe, complete with lightsabers, lasers and Bad Piggies dressed up as Darth Vader and Stormtroopers. The game was released on November 8th for iOS and Android.