Angry Birds maker hopes Bad Piggies will help it fly again
Angry Birds-maker Rovio Entertainment will be hoping to prove it's no one-hit wonder when it launches Bad Piggies on Thursday, just as players seem to be tiring of the game they've been addicted to for the past three years.
The new game will feature pigs which strike back at the birds who attacked them with slingshots in Angry Birds.
A hit on app stores would give the Finnish company a boost as it looks to a possible stock market flotation next year. Some analysts put its market value at between $6 billion and $9 billion, nearly on a par with another top Finnish tech name, phone maker Nokia Oyj.
Rovio was founded in 2003 and became a global phenomenon after it launched Angry Birds for Apple Inc's iPhone in late 2009.
The highly-addictive game helped Rovio's sales jump 10-fold to $100 million last year, a fraction of the 38.7 billion euros ($50.2 billion) which Nokia chalked up.
It has remained at the top of gaming charts, with more than a billion downloads, and had 200 million monthly users at the end of 2011. That compares for instance with the 240 million attracted by offerings from U.S-based Zynga Inc, such as the Facebook-based Farmville.
But there are signs Rovio is losing its momentum.
Amazing Alex, the first non-Angry Birds game in more than two years from Rovio, hit No. 1 on download charts in July but has since slumped to outside the top 50, while Angry Birds Space has dropped fast from the top-grossing lists.
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