September 20th, 2013 06:29 AM
HELSINKI – The latest instalment of the Angry Birds video game series from Finnish game maker Rovio topped download rankings Thursday on its release in several Western countries.
“Angry Birds Star Wars II” was the most downloaded application from AppStores in several countries, including the US, France and Germany, according to download market analysts App Annie.
In China, where Rovio has announced plans for a major expansion, the game was the fourth most popular.
Earlier in September, Rovio also launched a line of toys made by US toy giant Hasbro, which allow players to “teleport” characters into the video game world using web cameras on mobile phones and tablets.
Since launching the game in 2009 the Finnish company has enjoyed spectacular growth with its Angry Birds franchise, diversifying into theme parks, 3D film making and educational tools.
Some analysts have cast doubts over the company’s expansion beyond video games. However Koopee Hiltunen at Finnish game industry organisation Neogames said this latest success was proof that the strategy was working.
“Rovio has shown that they are following a strategy that succeeds,” he said.
Angry Birds Star Wars II is the seventh release in the series. As with the previous games, players use catapults to fire birds onto pigs who have stolen their eggs.
In this latest instalment of the game, based on the Star Wars sci-fi films, players are invited to “join the pork side” of the force.