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Angry Birds maker purchases Casey’s Contraptions, revealing next game

by Phil Hornshaw

Rovio Mobile has enjoyed a very comfortable existence making Angry Birds – and only Angry Birds – since the game became a huge sensation back in 2009. It’s hard to blame the Finland-based company for not doing much more given how popular the series has been.

In fact, Angry Birds is so popular that this week Rovio announced the series had broken 1 billion downloads across all platforms. This includes Apple’s iOS devices as well as Android, PC, Mac, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. That is a huge number of infuriated avian death machines flying through the air and landing on virtually any gaming device. It makes sense that Rovio has been focusing on Angry Birds for the last three years.

But that might not be the case for much longer. TechCrunch reports that Rovio has confirmed it has bought the intellectual property rights for Casey’s Contraptions, an iOS game in which players create Rube Goldberg-like machines to solve puzzles. The game is no longer available in the iTunes App Store, although its website is still up right here.

Rovio also told TechCrunch that it’s working on a new game, apparently with the Casey’s Contraptions IP, that will launch this summer first in the App Store and on Google’s Android platform before “extending to further platforms rapidly after that.” The Casey’s Contraptions game is getting rebranded for Rovio’s stable and will be re-launched to bring it to a larger audience, the report says.

Sticking with what it does best

As for gameplay – well, Rovio isn’t straying too far from what it does best, which is make games that emphasize realistic physics and well-defined rules. Casey’s Contraptions is a physics-based puzzler at heart, and Rovio’s best asset is the well-crafted physics mechanics of Angry Birds and, even more so, Angry Birds Space. Rovio sees Casey’s Contraptions and its gameplay fitting in with its existing stable of games for that reason. So, expect a heavy emphasis on physics and puzzle gameplay similar to what can be seen in the original Casey’s Contraptions. Having said all that, it’s likely the game will be altered from the original for the re-release.

The question will be whether Rovio’s next project will draw the kind of excitement and rabid fanbase that Angry Birds has. Not that it needs to – Rovio is making money at an alarming rate on Angry Birds games and merchandise, and there are more projects (such as a movie and cartoon show) in the works, supposedly. But it will definitely be nice to see Rovio do something new after three years of Angry Birds, and even if Casey’s Contraptions isn’t a breakout success, it’s a safe bet that it will be a fun and impressive game.

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