Sept. 26 - Angry Birds-maker Rovio Entertainment will be hoping to prove it's no one-hit wonder when it launches Bad Piggies, just as players seem to be tiring of the game they've been addicted to for the past three years. Matt Cowan reports.
Finland's Rovio is looking to build on the success of its Angry Birds mobile gaming franchise with a new title that takes a different view of those pesky pigs. Bad Piggies looks at the construction process before the birds were angered. Rovio's head of game development Petri Jarvilehto says it is an entirely new experience. SOUNDBITE: ROVIO HEAD OF GAME DEVELOPMENT, PETRI JARVILEHTO SAYING:(English) "We've approached game play this time around from a very different angle. "Angry Birds" games are essentially like you're shooting birds with a sling shot and the way we see the birds destroy things whereas the pigs they are the builders. So this is a game that's completely based around the concept of the pigs building things - they see delicious eggs and start heading that way and start building all kinds of devices to reach their goal." The stakes are high for Rovio, which is eager to prove it can create hit games that do not have Angry Birds in the title. Jack Kent is a mobile analyst with IHS Screen Digest. SOUNDBITE: Jack Kent, Mobile Analyst, IHS Screen Digest saying (English) "I think it's very important for Rovio. Angry Birds has had over a billion downloads, but they followed it with Amazing Alex which had initial success, but it fizzled out very quickly. So it's really key for Rovio to prove it has success beyond the Angry Birds franchise." Rovio was founded in 2003, but it wasn't until 2009 that it came up with it's breakthrough success which has helped the company extend its business well beyond games. SOUNDBITE: Jack Kent, Mobile Analyst, IHS Screen Digest saying (English) "It's always important to remember that it had around 50 games released without very much success before Angry Birds and what Angry Birds did is it effectively rode the perfect storm of the smartphone and game explosion. Launched in 2009, it had great success in 2010, 2011, and still today. And with that Rovio has managed to expand its value into the billions of dollars now. It says it plans to be on a par with a company like Disney in terms of having cross-platform success." Rovio's revenues surpassed 100 million dollars in 2011 and some analysts place the company's value as high as 9 billion dollars. But will it's trajectory rise and fall with Angry Birds? SOUNDBITE: ROVIO HEAD OF GAME DEVELOPMENT, PETRI JARVILEHTO SAYING (English): "What we have been doing with "Angry Birds" is we have been consistently building "Angry Birds" as a brand, much stronger than the game itself. We've been pushing, for us the big thing about Angry Birds is not necessarily the sling shot game, it's the characters, the universe, it is everything that we can create with those fantastic little birds or fantastic little pigs and that I think is a crucial difference in mind set in terms of how we've approached this." It's expected that Bad Piggies will reach number 1 in the App store after the game's launch on September 27, but the real test of success will be how long it stays near the top of the charts. Matt Cowan, Reuters