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Angry Birds return for a sequel in a battle to save their makers

Angry Birds became a worldwide phenomenon after its launch in 2009, but despite releasing themed versions such as Angry Birds Star Wars, the game began to lose its appeal in 2013, and Rovio is now trying to swoop back from a sharp drop in profits.

Finnish game maker Rovio has launched Angry Birds 2, a sequel to what the company claims is the most downloaded mobile-game series.

“With new towers to topple, pigs to pop and missiles to master, Rovio is thrilled to ­announce the launch of Angry Birds 2,” the company said.

Angry Birds became a worldwide phenomenon after its launch in 2009, but despite releasing themed versions such as Angry Birds Star Wars, the game began to lose its appeal in 2013, and Rovio is now trying to swoop back from a sharp drop in profits.

Earnings before interest and tax slumped to €10 million (Dh40.3m) last year from €36.5m in 2013. In December, Rovio cut about 110 jobs, ­almost one in six of its workforce, and shut down its game development unit in Finland. Last year, its overall sales fell by nine per cent, even though income generated by new ­versions of the gaming app grew by 16 per cent.

Rovio said the game’s visuals and gameplay have been overhauled for the sequel.

“Design technology has evolved dramatically since the original game launched in 2009,” says co-founder Niklas Hed. “With Angry Birds 2, we wanted to bring a level of ­expressive depth and detail seen previously only in a ­console game or animated ­series.”

The company is also working on a 3-D Angry Birds feature film, which is scheduled to be released in May next year.

In addition to its games, Rovio also sells merchandise based on its famous game, runs Angry Birds theme parks in several countries, including Finland, China and Spain, and publishes ­children’s books in dozens of languages.

Updated: August 2, 2015 04:00 AM

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