The next Angry Birds? Third-party game developers hope Rovio's backing gets them there

The creator of the hit game promises third-party developers marketing gold and plans to publish two new games, from outside game makers, under its name.

Rovio announced on Tuesday its intent to publish the titles of third-party developers, using the marketing success of its top game, Angry Birds, to lure more game makers.

The new program, called Rovio Stars, lets Rovio publish games under its name while promising developers Angry Birds franchise-like glory. Once a gaming company, the now rebranded entertainment company will kick off its program with the launch of Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage by Nitrome, a puzzle game that utilizes slicing motions similar to Cut-the-Rope, and Tiny Thief by 5 Ants, a medieval-themed game featuring stealth-based puzzles.

"These are the sorts of titles we're interested in," Kalle Kaivola, Rovio's director of development, said in a press release. "We want to help the developers to give these games that last coat of polish, publish the games, and find their audience. We're focusing on a small, select number of games, and each Rovio Stars launch will be an event of its own."

This is the first time Rovio is publishing third-party games as part of its portfolio, according to the company. Rovio has been slowly moving away from game developing by harnessing the popularity of Angry Birds to expand into merchandizing, a TV show, and a movie .

Rovio is advertising that it can put third-party games in front of the right audience, and its initial partners agree. Rovio boasts more than 1.7 billion downloads and "hundreds of millions of monthly active users."

"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," Mat Annal, the managing director of Nitrome, said in the release. "To a small indie studio like Nitrome this is all the backing we could hope for!"

 

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