Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Will Bad Piggies Give Rovio the Boost It Needs?

This week, Rovio let fly Bad Piggies, the company’s latest effort to both build on and move beyond its signature Angry Birds franchise.

The game shot to the top of the charts, but the real question is whether the game will help or hurt Rovio’s cause to prove itself more than a one-hit wonder.

Rovio has raised a ton of money and billed itself as a company looking to be the next Disney and build an entertainment franchise with animation, games and more. It already boasts an impressive collection of products from toys to candies, but all are hitched inexorably to the company’s signature birds.

There have even been squawks about Rovio potentially going public, but it is unclear whether investors would want to see more of a track record before plunking down for the shares.

Earlier this year, the company released Amazing Alex, its first non-Angry Birds title since the avians made their debut. It had a brief stint atop the charts but is now no longer in the top 100 U.S. titles, according to App Annie.

Bad Piggies is an Angry Birds spinoff, but unlike Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Seasons, it features an entirely new type of game play. Plus, in the new game, the pigs are the protagonists rather than the targets of weapons.

The pigs have to reach a map piece at each level and, instead of slingshots, the pigs travel by a conveyance put together each round by the player, using a set of available parts.

The result is a game that, if entertaining, also resembles a lot of other physics simulation titles on the market. The big question is whether the well-known characters will be enough to help it stand out.

I chatted on NPR’s All Things Considered on Thursday about the game and what it all means for Rovio.

And here’s a look back at AllThingsD’s coverage from our visit to the Angry Birds roost in Finland earlier this year.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald