Rovio Entertainment has announced their latest venture today, Rovio Stars, which is a mobile game publishing initiative. Basically, this is Rovio shifting from simply offering their own games to putting themselves in a position to push games from others. The name, Rovio Stars seems to be a play on what they intend to do -- publish and in turn highlight games from other developers that they believe have potential.
Rovio’s EVP of Games Jami Laes has said they want to help their fans find "quality entertainment." While there hasn't been any talk as to specific criteria for these games, they have mentioned "games with memorable characters and entertaining gameplay that are also just really fun to play." Perhaps key here though, Rovio Stars marks the first time Rovio will have third party games available in their line-up.
“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.
The first game that will be highlighted as part of the Rovio Stars initiative is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage by Nitrome Ltd. You can get a brief look at the game in the trailer video included in this post. Otherwise though, the game has the player following the adventures of a lone Viking. Rovio has said the game combines "a unique ice slicing mechanic with an offbeat humour."
Next up after Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage will be a game called Tiny Thief by 5 Ants. Tiny Thief is said to be a game that combines "medieval adventure with stealth-based puzzles." Aside from the two games mentioned, it looks like Rovio Stars could provide the support that is needed by some developers.
In fact, Mat Annal who is the Managing Director of Nitrome Ltd mentioned that being involved with Rovio Stars means that they "have one of the best marketing teams behind us, as well as visibility to their vast audience." Otherwise, Rovio has said they will be "focusing on a small, select number of games." Perhaps as icing on the cake for the developers, Rovio is promising that "each Rovio Stars launch will be an event of its own.”