When Angry Birds maker Rovio released the Star Wars version of its ever-popular game, it shot to the top of the app charts. So, it’s no wonder developers have created Angry Birds Star Wars II.
Available from September 19, it will feature no fewer than 30 different bird and pig versions of Star Wars characters, including Yoda, Anakin, Mace Windu and Jango Fett.
The app will be a paid for game, costing 69p, but there will also be a free version for Android, which is supported by advertising.
Rovio announced news of its new app on its blog, along with a trailer for the game voiced by none other than Ian McDiarmid, who played the villain, the Emperor Palpatine in the original Star Wars movies.
In it, the unmistakable Star Wars music plays while McDiarmid urges viewers to “join the pork side”.
For the first time ever, players can opt to be one of the pigs, wielding Darth Maul’s double-bladed lightsaber, or playing as Darth Vader or General Grievous. And, if you change your mind, you can even switch characters as you play.
Fans are already eagerly anticipating the new game. One tech forum user said: “Tube delays just got a little more bearable,” while another added: “A good balance of luck and skill, and plenty of levels for your money. Pretty much what anyone’s looking for in a mobile game.”
The app is going to be released along with companion toys called Telepods, which can be used to bring new characters into the game.
Rovio says the Telepods will provide “a groundbreaking new way to play”. You simply place your Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods figures onto your device’s camera to bring them into your gameplay.
The toys are expected to cost between £5.99 and £39.99 in the UK and are just the latest revenue stream for Rovio.
The Telepod figures are each around an inch high and depict the quirky Angry Birds versions of well-known Star Wars characters. As well as those already known from the first Star Wars game, there are new additions from the Star Wars prequels, including Jar Jar Binks and General Grievous.
While the company is best known for its app development activities, nearly half of Rovio’s revenues last year came from sales of plush toys and other branded merchandise.
The merchandise produced to accompany Angry Birds Star Wars II is sure to prove equally popular. The app will have its own range of toys, clothes, accessories and books, with the official book of the game due to be published by National Geographic on September 17.
So far, since the first Angry Birds Star Wars game was released last year, it has been downloaded a staggering 100m times. Rovio will now be hoping for similar success for Angry Birds Star Wars II.
Latest figures show Rovio ended 2012 with an impressive 263m monthly active users of the Angry Birds games. But, the developer has now been overtaken in terms of revenues by free to play games such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga.