Angry Birds Maker Rovio Will Now Publish And Market Select Third-Party Games

Posted: May 15, 2013 in Gaming, GT
Tags: , , ,

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Rovio Entertainment, maker of the popular line of
“Angry Birds” games, announced today that its
expanding its business to include third-party titles,
which it will publish, distribute and market to
consumers. The new program is being called “Rovio
Stars,” and makes available the company’s expertise as well as its marketing teams to other publishers.
The first title to be released under the new effort is
“Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage,” by Nitrome Ltd. The Icebreaker game, which follows the adventures of
a lone Viking, will be followed by medieval adventure
and puzzle game “Tiny Thief,” made by 5 Ants. This is the first time Rovio has included third-party
titles in its lineup, the company announced this
morning via a blog post and press release. “We want to help the developers to give these games
that last coat of polish, publish the games and find
their audience,” said Rovio’s Director of
Development Kalle Kaivola. “We’re focusing on a
small, select number of games, and each Rovio Stars
launch will be an event of its own.” That “last coat of polish” means Rovio will actually
assist its partners in finalizing game production and
with post-production, the company explains. Rovio
notes that it’s looking for titles in “an advanced stage
of production” – that is, in either alpha or playable
format. Rovio’s experts will specifically help to mentor
developers in order to “turn their games into
blockbusters,” as well as market them, provide PR,
and help publishers distribute titles to all the relevant
app stores. Developers can now apply for consideration as one of
Rovio’s next picks on the Rovio Stars dedicated
website, where the company provides a submission
form. Interested parties can attach screenshots and/
or video alongside a description of their game. For
now, only mobile titles are being considered. Expecting a high volume of submission,
the company says it can’t promise that everyone will
receive a response. Rovio has long since moved beyond being only a
games publisher, and is now more of media company
offering cartoons, toys, and other merchandise like t-
shirts, books, and even soda. It has debuted an
“Angry Birds Space Encounter” at the Kennedy Space
Center, and Angry Birds-themed parks. It also recently partnered with Dreamworks to release “The
Croods,” a game based on the animated film. These expansions have been working well for the
company so far. In April, Rovio announced its 2012
sales were up 101 percent to $195 million, and net
profit was up to $71 million. 45 percent of Rovio’s
revenue now comes from “consumer products,”
versus 30 percent the year prior. The company also has 1.7 billion downloads across its properties, and
sees hundreds of millions of active users per month. Details regarding how Rovio Stars will generate
revenue – through a revenue share, perhaps, or other
fees, were not immediately provided. We’ve reached
out to the company for more information and are
waiting on a response. (Update to follow). Update: Per Rovio, the projects will be chosen depending on their individual merits, and right now the
company is planning on publishing a select few
games per year under Rovio Stars. As for other
considerations, Rovio’s level of involvement in the
project depends on what makes sense in the given
situation. As for the marketing and polish, it can mean different things for different projects. Just to
give an example, Rovio can help with the game’s QA
process. As for marketing, Rovio has a wide and
dedicated fan base around the world, strong on-line
presence and a reputation for publishing polished,
quality games. This is certainly a great asset for an independent game developer.

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