The success that the Angry Birds games have brought to Rovio is stunning, really: the company was reportedly on the verge of bankruptcy when it released the game, and today, revenue is estimated to be between $50 and 70 million annually. It's perhaps no surprise, then, that the company raised $42 million in funding earlier this month, and they enjoyed the luxury of picking and choosing their investors. They even reportedly determined the terms of investment - quite the reversal of roles.
A video of Ville Heijari, a Rovio "Bird Whisperer" (aka representative), showing off the gameplay of the upcoming Angry Birds Rio popped up on YouTube this morning. While the gameplay looks like much of the same kamikaze fowl-smashing action we have come to know and love, there are a few new additions. The evil pigs and stolen eggs are gone, animal poachers are in, and you now have boss fights.
The Rovio employee described the upcoming game as featuring "no eggs, no pigs, but just pure anger." He promises many episodes lined up for 2011, inferring that the game will be continuously updated with new levels.
Interestingly, Rovio has decided not to use their old partners GetJar for the launch of this eagerly awaited game; instead it will be available exclusively through the Amazon Appstore. It is unclear at this time exactly how long this exclusive agreement will last and when the game will debut in the Android Market.
The secret to unlocking the Super Bowl level inside Angry Birds has been hatched by zblanco4, a user over at the Angry Birds Nest, with a little clue to guide the way. Just as Rovio promised, the clue was planted in the Rio ad during Super Bowl - check it out below:
Detailed instructions have been left behind for the rest of us to join in on the fun. The requirements?
The latest Angry Birds update v1.5.1 that hit the Market yesterday introduced a whole bunch of levels, support for lower-end devices, and... a new SMS permission requirement. This not only prevented the update from being installed automatically, but also created quite a bit of user confusion, or even panic, around the reasons why the game would ever need to send or read our text messages.
Rovio's own Twitter account, probably manned by one of those evil pigs, insisted it was a mistake that would be fixed Monday, which calmed some of us down, but the truth ended up lying elsewhere.
In addition to goodies like a graphics toggle for lower-end devices and support for the code that will be displayed in Rovio's Super Bowl ad (the code will unlock another level), update 1.5.1 adds a fifth episode - "Ham 'Em High." It includes 30 new Wild West-themed levels, as well as 15 levels currently marked as "Coming Soon." Have a look:
Just like previous Angry Birds levels, Ham 'Em High is insanely addictive.
Rovio and 20th Century Fox obviously think so - they've teamed up to develop a new version of Angry Birds based entirely on Rio. They say it's coming to "app stores" in March (hopefully that includes the Android Market), and will feature 45 levels to call its own. Check out this cinema-quality teaser video Rovio released:
Looks like the Angry Birds brand isn't going away anytime soon - which could be either good news or bad news, depending on how you look at it.
At Motorola's booth today, we got a chance to play with the Atrix 4G - a dual-core HSPA+ equipped slate handset, sporting a whopping 1GB of RAM and packing a couple of notable features. Along with the laptop dock demoed in the video below, the Atrix 4G also has a media dock (called "HD dock") which allows you to connect it to a larger screen (and use the same WebTop desktop-like interface) as well as plug in a keyboard and a mouse.
If you're ever looking for a good webcomic, look no further than Abstruse Goose. Case in point: today's Nexus S comic. There's not much to say about it, so here it is:
Bonus lols: the image name is "Rovio_is_pure_evil.PNG."
Probably safe to say we've all been in a similar situation - which is pretty good for Rovio.