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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Angry Birds creator to release Amazing Alex in July. Can Rovio strike gold again?

Without a doubt, Angry Birds is a gold mine for Rovio, not just because of the game itself but all the T-shirts, hats, toys and whatever else you can think of that has those colorful birds stamped on them. For the full 2011 calendar year, Rovio posted total revenue at $106.3 million. Merchandising and licensing income represented about 30 percent of that.

While the Angry Birds era won't be going away any time soon, it was time for Rovio to start doing something different. At risk of becoming a one-trick pony, they have their eyes set on their newest game, Amazing Alex, set for release on iOS and Android devices in July. A new physics game, Amazing Alex will have players focus on creating chain reactions using a variety of objects to achieve a goal.

The game will feature 100 levels with multiple ways to finish them. On Rovio's blog, they mention a level creator will be available to make puzzles involving 35 different objects, which can be shared with friends and around the world. Rovio also is promising free updates, like with Angry Birds. A Windows version will be available after launch.

Can Rovio strike gold again? Amazing Alex has all the makings to be a financial success at least from a game standpoint. With lots of levels, free updates, and Rovio's name attached to it, it should have no problem reaching the top of the charts. There's no price announced yet, but I can't see Rovio straying away from the cheap, and sometimes free, route they've taken so far.

As for Amazing Alex merchandise? That remains to be seen, but I don't see it having a huge impact like Angry Birds, which was perfect since the birds were just too darn cute to pass up. I'm having a hard time picturing Amazing Alex figurines or plushies flying off the shelves and children wearing clothes with some generic looking, blonde-haired kid on it. It'll be a tougher sell, but if Rovio does go heavy on merchandise they got to make a Mouse Trap-like board game. That game ruled.

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