You've played Angry Birds. Regardless of how you feel about that insanely popular title, there's no denying that Rovio is one of the largest names in mobile gaming. That's why it was a big deal when they announced their Rovio Stars initiative to publish titles produced by third-party developers. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage was the first game to come from this program, but it is currently only available for iOS.
About two years ago, we reported that one of the most recognized patent trolls around, Lodsys LLC, had sued game maker Rovio over Angry Birds for Android, claiming that the defendant had "infringed and continues to infringe" on patents controlled by Lodsys.
If you're not up to snuff on your patent troll bestiary, Lodsys is a company that produces no real goods or services, but holds plenty of patents that they are willing to either license or use for legal action.
For years, Rovio lived on Angry Birds and nothing else. Then it tried to get you to love Alex. Then it gave the piggies a shot. Finally, Rovio went back to doing what it does best: throwing birds and cashing out. The demand for new games hasn't stopped, though. So what's a mega-giant corporation that's stuck in a creative rut to do? Crowd source, of course. Introducing Rovio Stars.
We saw a pre-rendered trailer for Rovio's latest licensed game last month, though it wasn't much more than a trailer for the Dreamworks movie it's based on. Today you can download The Croods in Google Play for free, and it's a surprising departure from both Rovio's physics-based comfort zone and the source material. Based on the brief description and trailer, the game straddles the line between a Monster Rancher creature feature and the familiar Sim City/Farmville genre.
Oh, Rovio, Rovio. Whatfore art thou doing, Rovio? The last few games the company has produced have not managed to regain the same amount of public attention that Angry Birds did. In fact, Bad Piggies only stayed in the top 20 by revenue spots for 5 weeks in the U.S. (iOS), compared to 22 months for Angry Birds. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that the developers have fallen back on their old failsafe: making games for kids' CGI movies.
Tis the season, Android shoppers. Today there's a cavalcade of games from a variety of developers on sale in the Google Play Store, as well as some of Loud Crow's interactive books for children. We haven't seen any word of when this sale will end, so if you want any of the games or apps listed above, get 'em while they're hot. First, to the game shelf!
Rovio has been teasing us for about a month now with yet another new Angry Birds title – Angry Birds Star Wars. The game is an almost inevitable mash-up between the smash hit mobile game and one of the most famous science fiction films of all time, and features (as you'd expect) light-saber wielding, force manipulating, laser-shooting birds. They are, of course, angrier than ever and they'll be battling more thieving pigs in more Star Wars-inspired environments than we care to count.
You knew it was coming. It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. Angry Birds is journeying to a galaxy far, far away. Today, a gameplay trailer was released that, in addition to revealing a pink Princess Leia bird (excuse me while I check off number 7 on my list of "Phrases I Never Thought I'd Have To Write"), shows our avian heroes wielding light sabers and shooting lasers out of their eyes to bring down AT-AT walkers.
You can't deny that Angry Birds is the biggest franchise going in mobile gaming, racking up hundreds of millions of downloads across its various platforms. It was only a matter of time before developer Rovio's licensing ambitions took it beyond some logical tie-ins (like Dreamworks' 2011 kid flick Rio). On November 8th, the aggravated avians will be going where pretty much every single major franchise has gone before: to the Star Wars universe.