Rovio to Release Free 'Angry Birds' App


MOSCOW – Angry Birds are going downhill.

In a first for the Finnish-designed feathered cartoon characters, video game developer Rovio is launching a mobile telephone app called Angry Birds Go!

The free app, available worldwide on Dec. 11, features a high-octane downhill race that includes all the famous avian characters and their arch enemies, the evil pigs from the video game.

The app includes a bizarre range of racing machines that can be upgraded, characters with special powers and a range of 3D worlds.

Rovio, which released a game-play trailer Tuesday to advertise the game ahead of its release, said: "The game will be built from the ground up as a free-to-play title, with a whole host of modes and features included from the get-go."

The company plans to release a "special countdown app" at the end of this month for the game, which will be available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon at Brand Licensing Europe 2013 in London during a presentation entitled "Angry Birds: How Rovio Disrupted the Entertainment Industry," Jami Laes, executive vp gaming and Naz Cuevas, senior vp licensing at Rovio, said the company would continue to focus on making Angry Birds a long-lasting brand, they said. "We're building an evergreen," Cuevas told the industry crowd.

The executives then unveiled the Angry Birds Go! game trailer in a world premiere.

Laes said Helsinki, Finland-based Rovio created 51 games before striking gold with Angry Birds, meaning the company wasn't the overnight success it is sometimes believed to be.

Laes also touted the planned July 2016 launch of Angry Birds: The Movie.

Georg Szalai in London contributed to this report.

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