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September 27, 2012

Angry Birds Meets its Match in 'Bad Piggies'

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

People have spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars over the last several years engaging in the practice of helping a variety of birds, each with their own special ability, attempt to knock down structures containing a lesser variety of round, green pigs. Now, the tables are about to turn as "Angry Birds" maker Rovio today launched their new title, "Bad Piggies" at a large-scale ceremony in Taipei, only the first in a series of global events celebrating the new game.

"Bad Piggies" takes the concept in something of a different direction. While previously, the games were devoted to firing birds out of a slingshot to knock down constructions built by the pigs, "Bad Piggies" will devote itself to the actual building of those constructs, via a series of challenges and moving contraptions designed to get the parts of the pigs' constructs into place.

Image via

Reports indicate that the game is designed not only as a way to explore a whole new game mechanic with a whole new kind of puzzle system, but also as a way to provide more depth to the overall experience, giving the potential for new storylines to emerge around the bird / piggy conflict. That additional depth may prove valuable, especially given how much people enjoyed "Angry Birds" in general. "Bad Piggies" is currently available on iOS, Android (News - Alert), and Mac devices, with releases for Windows Phone, Windows 8, and PCs in general slated to follow at a date that is as yet undetermined.

"Angry Birds" allowed maker Rovio to see a profit of 48 million Euros--around $60 million US--in 2011, but subsequent releases didn't offer the same level of interest. While still doing well, the follow-up releases haven't done nearly as well, and the original game's interest is slowly falling off as well. Rovio launched another game in July, "Amazing Alex”, which actually debuted at number one on the iPhone (News - Alert) Top Apps chart, but currently can't be found in the top 100 listings.

Rovio's release of "Bad Piggies", meanwhile, is also timed just ahead of plans to pursue an initial public offering sometime in 2013, so it could easily be interpreted that Rovio wanted a way to shore up interest not only in its flagship title, but also in its company as a whole. Another game with the success of "Angry Birds"--not so unlikely given that we're heading into holiday shopping season--would certainly help to do that, especially following recent initial public offerings that haven't gone quite so well, like those of Facebook and Zynga.

Based on the early word, it seems something of a long shot that "Bad Piggies" will prove as popular as "Angry Birds", but having another tool in the toolbox and providing depth for a franchise that was starting to flag in terms of interest really can't be a bad idea. Rovio couldn't succeed with "Angry Birds" forever, and for an IPO to really go off well, Rovio would have to prove to investors that it's more than a one trick pony. Will "Bad Piggies" provide that proof? Only time will tell

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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