Rovio must have had to carefully analyse many different alternatives for the first successor of Angry Birds as that would truly begin to label them as an multi-brand entertainment company. Today, Angry Birds brings in over €75 million in revenue for the company, but due to the nature of the games industry, being a hit business, that revenue will be hard to keep up over the years. To further grow and really get closer to a meaningful IPO, Rovio must differentiate its offering successfully.
Earlier this year the company announced they will be releasing a non-Angry Birds game as well. It is this game that will begin to determine how good Rovio really is. Sarah Lacy's book, which looked at the ability of serial entrepreneurs to create successful companies one after another, titled "Once you're lucky, twice you're good", applies well to this situation.
Yesterday the company confirmed it has acquired the rights to a game called Casey's Contraptions. The game is about solving puzzles with different objects that act out their assigned task. Rovio's Ville Heijari commented on the acquisition of the game IP to 148 Apps that, "We are currently reworking the title to enhance it, and getting ready to re-introduce it in a true “expect the unexpected” Rovio style launch to an even larger audience".
The game concept is very similar to that of the Incredible Machine, as seen below in their sequel to the first game. However, Rovio will likely bump up the graphics and include some of their best practices from Angry Birds into the game to further capitalise on it.
What is also important for Rovio in building a successor to Angry Birds is the fact that this game must have ingredients that are merchandisable. Angry Birds merchandise brought in some 30% of the company revenue last year and this is surely an area the company expects further growth in the future.
Rovio also came out with an announcement yesterday that they have now reached 1 billion downloads of their Angry Birds game on all different platforms. This will give the company an edge over other studios out there as they are able to attract eye balls from the players of Angry Birds, which 200 million people still play actively each month, towards their new game.
Casey's Contraptions will be an interesting game to watch and see how it evolves under Rovio. Taking into account all the expectiations towards the company, especially to be valued well north of $5 billion, analysts and fans alike will be expecting something truly mindblowing. Then again, with Rovio's growing cash reserves the company is well equipped to try a few times to come out with another global hit that will top Angry Birds.
Update: We received a tip that the game will be called Amazing Alex. Rovio's CEO Mikael Hed said in a morning television show in Finland today that the game will be released in two months time.