For studios like Rovio it’s only natural they’re going to accrue a number of lesser-known titles. Not failures per-say but those that fly under the radar (pun intended) compared to major titles like Angry Birds or its sequel.
Incredibly, it's been 10 years since the launch of Angry Birds Friends, also known as Angry Birds Facebook. A spin-off title originally created for the social media platform - later released as a standalone product - Angry Birds Friends focused on the social aspect of the game. The mobile spin-off contained six-level “tournaments” that changed weekly, and the social media version allowed players on Facebook to compete against their friends for the highest score.
The story so far
Originally released in February 2012 for Facebook and was released to mobile on May 2 2013. Although the game received mixed reviews, including from our sister site PocketGamer.com it remains an enduring title. Part of which can be attributed to Rovio’s attempts to modernise and continuously update the title over time. This also included numerous, slightly more unusual collaborations such as with the WHO (World Health Organisation) to promote healthy living or Seacleaners (and Popeye).
Angry Birds Friends reflects one of Rovio’s more notable aspects, which is experimentation. Although some might argue that they have not adequately pushed their brand forward in the past, one has to remember that some series such as Subway Surfers have been content to rest on their laurels with a single title - to great success.
Rovio meanwhile has continuously experimented with new formats and genres, but Angry Birds Friends was a quick turnaround and pivot to mobile. Perhaps then it’s most significant aspect is what it represents in the slow turn away from Facebook as the social media platform falls from relevance, most recently closing it’s standalone gaming app.
Well the big step in the meantime has of course been Rovio’s acquisition by Sega. In the aftermath of acquisitions like this it’s not uncommon for a strategic review to take place of a developer’s library, and although it’s not likely, some games could end up on the cutting room floor. But, by that same token, it’s also possible that Rovio’s library will get a new lease on life with this new direction. Could Angry Birds Friends be one of them? We’ll have to see as the acquisition settles in.