This Christmas will be the biggest in Angry Birds' history, if Rovio gets its own way.
The developer – which has just launched the No.1 iPhone game Bad Piggies – will release its most lucrative tie-up yet, Angry Birds Star Wars, on November 8th.
And it's retail that is likely to benefit most. A plethora of plush toys, board games, clothes, action figures and a lot more based on Angry Birds Star Wars will swamp retailers in the coming weeks.
And there's disc-based games, too. Rovio has once again teamed up with UK-based Focus Multmedia to launch PC budget versions of Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars into stores.
We see this as something that's much bigger than a game launch,” Rovio's EVP of games Petri Jrvilehto told MCV.
We are working with Lucasfilm and Hasbro to bring a fantastic toy line-up to the market. Our retail business is growing extremely rapidly.
One of the things that we continually battle with is that when you do electronic distribution it is only able to reach a certain segment. But PC retail gives us more reach to people that want to buy something for the kids, or something physical.
It is bigger than any launch we have ever done. We are totally pushing ourselves to a new level with this. It's going to be an Angry Birds holiday.”
Focus Multimedia's Alan Wild added:?Angry Birds Star Wars is easily one of the most exciting releases the industry has seen, and is perfectly timed to deliver a bumper Christmas for retail.”
Jarvilehto says that uniting Angry Birds and Star Wars is something the firm has been looking at doing for a long time.
We've had extreme success working with high profile IPs, and obviously Star Wars is something that we felt would be the perfect with our Birds,” he continued.
We started talking with Lucasfilm and they were very excited about the idea as well. So we started this massive collaboration that just keeps getting better.
We are talking about a couple of extremely, if not the most, iconic brands available. We have extremely high expectations on pretty much everything we do. We see this as hands down the best Angry Birds game we have ever created.”
This deal with Lucasfilm also goes to highlight how rapid the rise of Angry Birds has been. The brand is only three years old and it already shares equal billing with one of the biggest entertainment properties of all time.
We are very happy with everything we have been managed to achieve so far,” added Jarvilehto. But at the same time we are still just getting started. We have done some pretty amazing things but there's so much more that we can and should be doing. We keep pushing ourselves really hard.”
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Lucasfilm is the latest in a long line of companies to team up with Angry Birds. Here's a few of its other big and unusual partnerships:
20th Century Fox
Rovio teamed up with the film studio in 2011 to build a game based on the animated movie, Rio.
The space agency helped promote Angry Birds Space, with a broadcast from the International Space Station.
The budget specialist has released PC boxed versions of Angry Birds, Seasons, Rio, Space and Star Wars, plus Bad Piggies.
A musical episode of the Facebook game Angry Birds Friends featured the stadium punk rock band Green Day.
The live event gaming firm helped Rovio build an Angry Birds crowd game, which first debuted at the Singapore F1 GP.
The Call of Duty publisher helped Rovio launch Angry Birds Trilogy on Xbox 360, PS3 and 3DS.
Rovio teamed up with the F1 driver on a web game that featured 12 exclusive levels based on upcoming races.