Angry Birds Go — a Super Mario Kart-style racing game — has largely been met with positive reviews since launch. Indeed, the company has also revealed today that the app has been downloaded more than 130 million times, though this of course doesn’t indicate active, regular gameplay. And it doesn’t account for subsequent uninstalls, either.
The new party mode feature, arriving today on iOS and Android, lets any two people play against each other, but it only works over the same Wi-Fi connection — so this isn’t a true online multiplayer mode given that gamers must be in the same location. While Angry Birds Go has offered some multiplayer functionality in the past, this is the first time any Angry Birds title has offered a mode that enables players to compete one-on-one in the same game, at the same time, on different devices — which is a notable evolution for the brand.
While Angry Birds Go is restricted to one-on-one gameplay for now, Rovio says that group play will be added in the future.
The launch of Angry Birds Go back in 2013 was a sign that Rovio was pushing to keep the lucrative brand going though many have long-argued that the company’s falling profits are a symptom of a broader Angry Birds fatigue. Earlier this week, however, the company did win $4.3 million in a court case over fake Angry Birds toys. So that’s something.
While introducing local multiplayer mode into the mix is a neat addition that should go down well, Rovio will probably have to think a little farther outside the box if it’s going to stop the rot and see its revenues rise again.