'If it goes ahead it will be different' says Rovio executive

Angry Birds group plans indie publishing business

Rovio Mobile, the Finnish group behind the Angry Birds phenomenon, is preparing to launch a new publishing label for independent studios.

Develop understands that executives at the company have already approached several mobile games studios to lay groundwork for the new business.

The Angry Birds group did not refute the claims when approached by Develop.

“We have some plans for this area, but not ready to announce yet,” said Rovio executive Peter Vesterbacka (pictured).

“If we do something in the publishing area, you can expect it to be a bit different.”

In March, Rovio raised $42 million in a new investment fund controlled by Skype founder Niklas Zennstrom. It was not disclosed what projects the cash would fund.

Despite making its millions in the mobile games space – often considered a self-publishing haven for indie studios – Rovio carries much experience with publishing partnerships.

The company first launched Angry Birds in partnership with mobile group Chillingo, though was able to back away from the deal months later when EA acquired the publisher.

Prior to this, Rovio spent years building numerous J2ME games for various publishing firms.

Most recently the group signed a deal with Twentieth Century Fox to build an Angry Birds game based on the animated movie Rio.

If Rovio’s new plan goes ahead, it is likely it will offer indie studios the chance to launch games from its own international brand.

The Angry Birds group has become a global authority in the mobile games business. Its bird-propelling series of games have been downloaded more than a third of a billion times, driving revenues upward of $70 million.

The company has previously said it plans to have its stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Most recently it was valued above $1.2 billion.

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