One of the most popular titles for mobile devices is making its way to VR.
Rovio, the devs and publishers behind the hugely popular Angry Birds series, will be launching a VR iteration of the game sometime in 2019. For those that may not know, Angry Birds is one of the most profitable apps on smartphones and a veritable sensation among younger audiences. Though it has waned from its peak, Angry Birds is still a big deal in the video game world. And, with a VR game, Rovio hopes to broaden the audience for its premier series.
The game, Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs, will be coming for every major VR platform available according to Rovio’s CEO.
The company is making the game in partnership with Resolution games according to VentureBeat. This isn’t the first game the two companies will have released together. The Swedish outfit also worked with Rovio on Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot, an augmented reality game.
Tommy Palm, head of Resolution Games, said of the partnership: “Angry Birds lends itself perfectly to VR, where players can experience the already highly engaging characters and gameplay mechanics in a much more tangible and immersive way than ever…Just as Angry Birds was applauded for its intuitive controls and gameplay on mobile, we feel Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs will continue that legacy for VR.”
VentureBeat reports that Angry Birds has some 9 million active daily users, placing it among the top most-used apps for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices.
The augmented reality game, First-person Slingshot, basically ported the Angry Birds format over to reality and let you mimic the actions of launching one of the title birds into the tower of pigs. It remains to be seen how Rovio will translate this to VR. Being a much more immersive format, we imagine the core gameplay would be a little different than simply launching birds at structures.
Gamers won’t have to wait long for the Angry Birds VR experience. It should be available early next year.
More importantly is what this means for VR as a niche. While Angry Birds is arguably a full-fledged game, its reputation as an app will probably follow it to VR. If more and more devs for smartphones, which there are many, start to look at VR as another way to monetize their properties then we could see a lot of translations of popular mobile titles to VR.
Keeping in mind that mobile gaming dominates in some markets, particularly China, this is no small thing. Hopefully, more and more mobile devs bring out their games for VR and help the niche grow its audience beyond the dedicated base currently supporting it.