October 8, 2012
Angry Birds Use The Force
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
The Angry Birds are heading to a galaxy far, far away. The popular iOS game - now available on every platform - is entering the universe of Star Wars in Angry Birds Star Wars. Rovio Entertainment and LucasFilm have partnered in a licensing agreement to merge the personalities of the Angry Birds universe with characters from the space saga franchise.
Star Wars provides characters and settings that Angry Birds haven't yet visited. The franchise has had success with its original title, a special version to coincide with the animated film Rio from Twentieth Century Fox, and then Rovio teamed up with NASA to bring Angry Birds Space. Physics and mechanics from Angry Birds Space will carry over into Angry Birds Star Wars. While most of it will take place in space, the game will have familiar settings such as Tatoine, the Death Star and other locations as a backdrop.
You won't just see the birds put on costumes. The game's creators matched up birds with Star Wars characters that made sense. Red bird becomes Luke Skywalker in his fighter pilot days. Expect also to see avian versions of Chewbacca, Lea, Han Solo, R2D2 and C3P0. Villains including Darth Vader will take on a more pig-like appearance on the other side.
"It's the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge gameplay set in a galaxy far, far away," said Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio.
Neither Rovio nor LucasFilm is taking this licensing agreement lightly. A week before the November 8 launch of the game, merchandise will find its way into stores. A whole line of Angry Birds Star Wars merchandise will include Halloween costumes and apparel, action figures and collectible plush toys. All that merchandise will start appearing in stores on October 28.
This is not the first time Star Wars has been the peanut butter in the chocolate of a game platform. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game became widely popular when it was released in 2005, in advance of the film Star Wars: A New Hope. The game lent a humorous take on the Star Wars series in that the characters and setting appeared as LEGO pieces, and burst into LEGO pieces when hit.
Between the game and the merchandise, both Rovio and Lucasfilm hope the Angry Birds franchise will enjoy the same type of pick-up as the LEGO version.
"Both Star Wars and Angry Birds share the instant and irresistible appeal of hands-on fun," said Colum Slevin, vice president and head of studio operations for Lucasfilm. "People seem to instinctively know what to do when handed a lightsaber or a bird in a slingshot, so this is a natural combination."
The game already has a website, YouTube channel and Tumblr page. Videos will be added over the next few weeks to tease the game. The website features a countdown to the game's release. It also has space for fan art and other activities.
As Rovio's Vesterbacka says, "The Force is definitely strong with this one."