Rovio, the company best known for its mega gaming franchise Angry Birds, is entering the realm of third-party publishing with the introduction of Rovio Stars. While the company has other games such as Bad Piggies and Amazing Alex, this is their first time bringing games to market from external developers.
The company views this as a logical move, since it is already "one of the powerhouses of mobile entertainment." That is definitely true, but outside of Angry Birds, its other releases have not made nearly as much noise. While Bad Piggies and Amazing Alex shot to the top of the App Store and Google Play upon release, neither had the staying power of Angry Birds, which remains among the top sellers, even years after its release.
The first game to hit the market under the Rovio Stars banner will be Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage, from Nitrome Ltd. According to Rovio, the game "follows the adventure of a lone Viking, combining a unique ice slicing mechanic with an offbeat humour." A quick look at the trailer shows that the game is a physics-based puzzler, which fits comfortably into Rovio's comfort zone. No official release date was revealed.
“Being involved with Rovio Stars means that we have one of the best marketing teams behind us, as well as visibility to their vast audience. To a small indie studio like Nitrome this is all the backing we could hope for!”, said Mat Annal, Managing Director of Nitrome Ltd.
Following Icebreaker, Rovio will release a stealth-based puzzle game called Tiny Thief from developer 5 Ants.
As is the case with most publishers, Rovio will provide support in marketing, getting the game published, and so on. The developer turned publisher has also provided a link for developers interested in applying to get their game enrolled in the program.