So we hear that Rovio will be teasing the next version of Angry Birds in about 10 minutes from space. We hear that NASA astronauts might be playing with this game or at least offering some tantalizing clues about it from space this morning.
Update: Yep! NASA astronaut Don Pettit fires a red Angry Bird plush toy while in space at a pig, made from a green balloon. He says that objects flung in space change their trajectory if they pass other larger objects with gravitational pull like planets. At the end of the video, there’s some footage of gameplay.
Angry Birds Space is the first new version of the game in quite a long time, following seasonal releases and Angry Birds Rio, which was a tie-in with a Twentieth Century Fox film. Coming out on March 22, it will have 60 new levels. All of the popular birds from the original game will still be there, except they will be re-skinned with a space theme. We hear that there will be one new bird though — an ice bird, perhaps?
Highlighting Rovio’s push into entertainment, the game’s release will be coupled with all sorts of paraphernalia like special edition magazines and toys. The company recently passed 700 million downloads across all platforms last month, so this game should help Rovio get to that vaunted billion download mark.
But like last year, Rovio is increasingly diversifying itself from gaming revenue and is relying more on physical goods and product licensing. Sources familiar with the company’s finances said the company made not far off from $100 million last year. It’s certainly possible that the company could try and double it this year. In Rovio’s most recent $42 million financing round last year, the company was valued at about $200 million.