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 →
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 →
It had been 18 months since I was last in Finland, so the extent of Angry Birds’ brand saturation came as a shock when I arrived in Helsinki three days ago. Of course, the Angry Birds t-shirts, caps, backpacks, scarves, sippy cups and baby clothes are immediately evident the moment you touch down at Helsinki’s airport. But the brand has expanded to unexpected niches with the vigor of Stage IV pancreatic cancer. When I visited the biggest amusement park in the country, there was an Angry Birds expansion area. At the major department stores there were Angry Birds mascara and lipstick stands, not to mention lip gloss, body emulsion, shampoo and cold cream. I did anticipate Angry Birds candy and soda — but the frozen donuts, paper plates, premium ice cream, float sets and fishing tackle bags took me by surprise. 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 →
Could Rovio’s Angry Birds one day have the global brand recognition that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck once had? That’s apparently the Finnish mobile gaming company’s ultimate goal, as The Wall Street Journal reports that Rovio plans to move beyond only developing games and become “a global entertainment powerhouse.” More →
The most famous mobile app franchise in the world has generated more than 1 billion downloads over the past three years — yet it currently has no games in the United States top 50 revenue chart for either the iPhone or iPad. On Wednesday, Angry Birds Star Wars dropped to No. 66 on the App Annie iPhone app revenue chart. This happened just three months after the game launched with massive download volumes and an avalanche of media coverage. Angry Birds Star Wars spent just two months in the top 20 iPhone revenue chart despite generating 50 million downloads in just 35 days. More →
The problem with tech news cycle is that speed sometimes trumps all rational thought. The latest example is the false Rovio revenue news that is now spreading like a wildfire, igniting even highly regarded business sites like MarketWatch and Wall Street Journal. The “news” is that Angry Birds maker Rovio has racked up $3 billion in revenue over three years, $550 million in 2011 and over $2 billion in 2010. This, of course, is completely false and can be disproven in two minutes. A visit to Rovio’s site tells us that the company had $106 million in revenues in 2011. Not $550 million. There is simply no way Rovio could have made $3 billion in three years. More →
Rovio announced today it hit 263 million monthly active users in December 2012. This happened precisely three years after the first Angry Birds game debuted at the end of 2009. Incidentally, the somewhat better-known Twitter hit the 200 million monthly active user mark in December 2012. And since Twitter was launched in the summer of 2006, Rovio’s user growth has been notably brisker. More →
AppAnnie just published its November statistics about global app sales and the results indicate that the Finnish surge in the app market continues. Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Hay Day were the top two iOS games in revenue generation during the month of November. Rovio grabbed the #7 slot with Angry Birds Star Wars and #10 with Angry Birds Star Wars HD. This is fairly fascinating, because it demonstrates that the $3 iPad version of Angry Birds is generating nearly as much revenue as the $1 iPhone version. 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 →