Angry Birds maker Rovio launched a new title in Taipei yesterday allowing users to play as the “Bad Piggies” from the smash-hit game, and take revenge on the birds who attacked them with slingshots.
Rovio Asia senior vice president Henri Holm said the new game was launched in Taipei in the first of a series of global events.
“We picked Taiwan because there is a very strong following for Angry Birds,” he said.
Angry Birds involves using slingshots to launch little birds at fortresses built by green pigs — an absurd, addictive game that became the world’s most-downloaded app, and spawned a franchise of merchandise and media tie-ins.
It helped the Finland-based Rovio turn a profit of 48 million euros (US$60 million) last year, on sales of 75.4 million euros, but follow-up titles have not met with the same success and interest in the original game is slowly declining.
In July, the company launched a new title, Amazing Alex, which debuted at No. 1 on the iPhone Top Apps chart, but has since dropped out of the top 100.
Analysts said that Rovio, which is planning an initial public offering (IPO) some time next year, is hoping Bad Piggies could help renew interest in the franchise by extending the original game’s universe.
“Bad Piggies will make Angry Birds more than just a game. It will create stories for fans and give depth to the popular app,” said I.C. Jan (詹益鑑), from Taipei-based venture capital company appWorks Venture.
Jan said the new game is part of the company’s efforts to pave the way for an IPO, including the establishment of the world’s first Angry Birds theme park in Helsinki in May next year, followed by another one in Britain in August.
“The company knows that it has to integrate the virtual and physical worlds after an unexpected huge success in the virtual front since 2009,” he said.
Bad Piggies was launched on iOS, Android and Mac yesterday, and versions for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and PCs will follow at a later date, the company said.