Rovio continues to find new ways to market its industry leading mobile game franchise, Angry Birds. This time, instead of teaming with another major franchise, as it did for Star Wars, the Finnish company is heading to the race track.
Today Rovio unveiled Angry Birds Go, a new racing game set to hit app stores on December 11. “It’s a complete first for the Angry Birds series, featuring high-octane downhill racing, upgradable karts, tons of characters with unique special powers and a fully rendered 3D world”, the company announced today.
The game will be free to play, and Rovio has partnered with Hasbro to integrate TELEPODS into the racing game. For now, a gameplay trailer has been released to tease you with what can be expected this holiday season.
Freddy Mercury, the iconic lead singer of rock legend Queen, and one of most recognizable and best voices in music, passed away back in 1991. However, his memory lives on in the form of the Mercury Phoenix Foundation. The organization proclaims that “since 1992, The Mercury Phoenix Trust has been raising millions to fight AIDS worldwide and thanks to advances in treatment, many are able to live longer with the disease, but there is still no cure. Around the world, mainly in countries stricken with poverty and lack of education, people are dying. The fight is not over yet…”
This year Rovio, the Finnish game maker behind the Angry Birds empire, is once again supporting the foundation with a “Freddy for a Day” tournament this week in Angry Birds Friends. The tournament features six levels inspired by Freddie and some truly iconic songs.
Essentially, this is a fundraising initiative arranged by The Mercury Phoenix Trust, which aims to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS by encouraging people to dress as Freddie Mercury for a day.
Customers can help support the drive by purchasing the Freddy Bird tee-shirt. If you do not have Angry Birds Friends on your phone or tablet, you can play right from your PC at friends.angrybirds.com.
Rovio announced previously that it would be releasing an Angry Birds Star Wars 2 game in late summer. Now, as the big day draws near, the game maker has unveiled a sneak-peek video and a bit more information. Angry Birds Star Wars II will feature bird and pig versions of over 30 characters from the Star Wars universe.
Rovio explains, that “in a countdown to the app launch, we’ll be introducing you to all of them! The first set of character reveal gameplay videos are already coming next Monday August 26th. The game will be out on September 19th all around the world”. The first charcter set will be unveiled this Monday, August 26th.
The game will be available as an universal app on iOS, Android (Google Play and Amazon) and Windows Phone 8 for $0.99 (or local equivalent)! There will also be a free ad-supported version available on Google Play.
According to a new report from Parks Associates, Roku has taken the lead as the most popular streaming video device in the US. Further, Parks Associates also showed the number of U.S. broadband households with streaming media device has doubled since 2011.
The group put out a report called Connected TV: Trends and Innovation (report for purchase). In this report, they found that 37% of households with a streaming media device use Roku – as opposed to 24% that use Apple TV.
Parks Associates expect the number of connected TV devices to reach 330 million by 2017. With newer, easier to use devices like ChromeCast entering into the market – along with Apple’s rumored upcoming updated Apple TV on September 10th, this number could grow a lot faster. Adding in 4K or Ulta-TV devices with simple app support that get people introduced to streaming media could spark the market even more.
“Roku customers are passionate about streaming, and we are delighted that independent research shows that we are the most popular streaming platform measured by usage on a U.S. household basis,” said Anthony Wood, Founder and CEO, Roku.
Roku’s newest version – the Roku 3 – is a media streaming device and small game console with programs like Angry Birds, Galaga and Pac Man. You can use the remote with Bluetooth headphones for privacy viewing or pull out your iOS or Android device to control the set top box.
This brings a true fight for the TV’s HDMI port.
Rovio again makes the news, this time not with a major game release racing up to the top of the download charts, but instead with the beginning of its account roll out. Why is this a big deal? Simply because customers can now put down their phone, pick up their tablet and play a game right from where they left off on the previous device.
“We’ve been gradually rolling out Rovio Account over the past couple of months, listening to feedback and ensuring a seamless sync experience for all of our fans”.
For now, the update has only hit the original Angry Birds game, but the company has plans to begin rolling it out to all of the platforms very soon. Users will see a “sign in” option on the home screen of the app. I have used the feature, already, to bring my progress from my Nexus phone to my tablet and can report it works perfectly well.
“We know that you’ve all been waiting for a way to sync progress between devices and we really feel that we have an amazing solution in place now” Rovio announces.
Now, we only have to await the feature to be rolled out to Space, Star Wars and the rest of the company’s hit games, a process which should take place over the coming days and weeks.
Last week Rovio teased something big coming today and hinted it had to do with Angry Birds Star Wars. Most folks expected a release of new levels or, perhaps, even a new game. The latter turns out to be true, but there are complications — well, one. The Finnish game make only announced Star Wars II today.
“Today we’re extremely excited to announce the arrival of Angry Birds Star Wars II, launching on September 19 across app stores worldwide” reads the official post from Rovio.
For those who were less-than-happy with the Star Wars prequels, I am afraid this may be bad news — “the new game will tackle the prequels, introducing a wide roster of never-before-seen Angry Birds Star Wars characters”. The game will bring more than 30 new characters.
To add to the anticipated hype surrounding these new figures, there will also be a line of over 30 collectable TELEPODS figures from Hasbro. Placing these figures onto your phone or tablet camera will scan your character of choice directly into the game, allowing you to select new characters on the fly.
It is certainly an interesting concept — and an obvious marketing grab, but Rovio seems incapable of doing anything wrong these days and the figures will likely sell almost as quickly as the game gets downloaded.
If you are a fan of the Angry Birds series, then you know about Bad Piggies – a sequel to the popular bird game. Security company F-Secure detected there was a faux app in the Play store that looked and felt like the Bad Piggies by Rovio. However, this app had a slight alteration to the name (Bad Pigs) and a different developer name.
Since the detection, Google Play has removed this malware version from their store. Unfortunately 10,000 downloads have occurred since May 25, 2013. The app asks the user for permission to do more than just push notification and simple data collection.
If any app asks for more information – including full access to your location and personal information, you should remove the app and report it. Usually trojanized apps are popular games, since they see more downloads.
Bad Piggies is a free app that sees between 10,000 – 50,000 app downloads on Google Play. It is available on Android and iOS apps, along with Mac and PC.
If you are one of the duped app users, simply delete the app through Android App Manager.