When the first mobile phone owners in 1994 were using their keypad to match tiles on Tetris they ignited the world of mobile gaming which would experience a major evolution in the next two decades. Tetris and Snake were the first mobile games to halt boredom for a couple minutes and turned simple concepts into classic games that continue to live endless lives on numerous platforms. Today the leading developers in mobile gaming (Epic Games, King and Supercell to name a few) are generating billions of dollars in sales and turning their app store best sellers into lucrative franchises. When Rovio Entertainment launched Angry Birds to iOS and Maemo on December 11 2009, it became a commercial success in a matter of months. In its early years Angry Birds received one million downloads daily while the Android version of the game generated one million dollars in monthly revenue during the second year of it’s release.
18 iterations, four spinoffs, a television and movie adaption, plus a massive merchandising deal later, Rovio is ready to inject some new energy into the franchise with an AR mobile version of the first Angry Birds game that started the fling shot phenomenon. Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs is the latest edition to the Angry Birds universe and while the concept hasn’t changed, the playing field is expanding beyond a phone screen. With augmented reality, players can physically walk around their environment to uncover hidden surprises and pinpoint the best shot to earn the most points for their angry bird characters. Pre-order is available now for iOS devices with an expected spring date. Playstation VR (PSVR) gamers will be able to join in on the fun later this month on March 26.
Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs has the potential to garner success similar to popular AR titles like Pokemon GO and Zombies, Run! that have shown the power of creating immersive experiences while using the latest gaming capabilities. Rovio is aiming to include other AR platforms in the future but the latest iteration gives Apple users the perk of enjoying the mobile game first. Apple’s ARKit is put to the test to create the virtual stages that exist over the real world and the user’s phone becomes a slingshot adding another dimension to the experience. With dipping sales last year maybe AR will be the technical spark needed to keeping the gaming franchise on top. According to Reuters, “sales dipped 1.7 percent from a year ago to 72.7 million euros (83.1 million dollars).”
Article by: Marcel “The Messenger” Jeremiah