Rovio’s next game is Angry Birds: Star Wars II. It is due out Sept. 19 worldwide across all major app stores.
After a successful run with Angry Birds: Star Wars, which Rovio based on the classic Star Wars trilogy (Episode IV through Episode VI), the developer is tapping the more recent prequel trilogy for the latest installment of the series. That means characters and levels from Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace, Episode II — Attack of the Clones, and Episode III — Revenge of the Sith.
“Angry Birds: Star Wars was a blockbuster hit for us and Lucasfilm, with over 100 million downloads since its release,” Rovio executive vice president of games Jami Laes said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be able to introduce the exciting next chapter in the Angry Birds: Star Wars saga to our fans around the world. Some of the most amazing character additions are versions of young Anakin, Mace Windu, and Darth Maul. Hasbro’s Telepods technology also provides a great way to extend the experience beyond the app and bring a whole new dimension to the gameplay.”
Angry Birds: Star Wars II isn’t just another fowl-flinging physics-based puzzler. Rovio is partnering with toy maker Hasbro to release tiny action figures based on the Angry Birds: Star Wars II characters. Players can then zap those toys into the game using Hasbro’s new Telepods device that connects toys to smartphones and tablets.
“Hasbro worked closely with both Rovio and Lucasfilm to deliver a fully integrated Telepods experience with the new Angry Birds Star Wars II app. Now, fans can enjoy unprecedented and seamless dual play in both physical and digital Angry Birds experiences,” Hasbro chief marketing officer John Frascotti said.
Check out the game and Telepods in action in the following trailer:
If Telepods seems familiar, that’s because it’s nearly identical to how publisher Activision’s Skylanders games work. In that franchise, gamers can switch characters at any time by placing a different physical action figure on the Skylanders Portal of Power. The switch happens instantly.
Skylanders found great success both in terms of game sales and toy sales. Disney announced a similar model for its upcoming Disney Infinity game that brings together different properties (like Monsters, Inc. and Pirates of the Caribbean) in a digital toy box.
Rovio is the latest studio to look for extra revenue by directly tying together the physical toys with its games.