Developer Rovio Revs Into Publisher Mode for Third-Party Games

An angry bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, but what if you could have all three? Rovio is determined to find out. The Angry Birds creator will always have its wildly popular franchise to fall back on, which to date has tasked gamers with battling thieving pigs in space and in galaxies far, far away, but with the creation of Rovio Stars, Rovio Entertainment also gets to try its hand at publishing games for third-party developers.

"Rovio Entertainment has positioned itself as one of the powerhouses of mobile entertainment, so moving into publishing is a logical step for us at this point," said Rovio’s EVP of Games Jami Laes. "We want to help our fans find quality entertainment among the more than 100,000 games available in app stores. That’s where Rovio Stars comes in."

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage

One thing Rovio Stars aims to do is help developers apply a "last coat of polish" to promising titles that are built on a solid foundation with memorable characters and entertaining gameplay. The first game Rovio Stars plans to publish is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage by Nitrome Ltd., followed by Tiny Thief by 5 Ants. Here's a look at the former:

There's a definite Angry Birds / Rovio vibe going on in the Viking title, but in the long run, it will interesting to see if Rovio Stars backs titles that are a bit removed from its own beaten path.