Angry Birds Star Wars headed for Windows Phone

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Rovio, best known for its Angry Birds game series, has announced the forthcoming availability of Angry Birds Star Wars for multiple mobile platforms, including Windows Phone. The game "will combine all the fun of the classic Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space with the characters, stories and settings of the epic space fantasy, Star Wars". Alongside the game, Rovio is planning to launch a series of merchandising lines, including Halloween costumes, action figures, and collectible plush toys. 

Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle  and CMO of Rovio, said:

"This is the best Angry Birds game we’ve ever done. It’s the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge game play set in in a galaxy far, far away. As a big Star Wars fan myself, I’m really excited about this new universe. The Force is definitely strong with this one."

Colum Slevin, Vice President, Head of Studio Operations for Lucasfilm Ltd., noted:

"Both Star Wars and Angry Birds share the instant and irresistible appeal of hands-on fun. People seem to instinctively know what to do when handed a lightsaber or a bird in a slingshot, so this is a natural combination."

Angry Birds Star Wars

The new game is set to be available for download on November 8th, although it is not clear if this applies too all platforms. Nor is it clear which version of Windows Phone will be getting the new game.  

Rovio released Angry Birds Space in March this year, and said a Windows Phone version would be available "later". A similar situation applies to Rovio's recently released Angry Birds spin-off Bad Piggies. The issue for Windows Phone 7 versions of Rovio titles is that it is difficult to directly port games to the platform. As we explained earlier this year:

A cross platform game like Angry Birds will typically use as much common code between platforms as possible, usually in the form of C/C++ libraries. However, on Windows Phone 7, with a few exceptions, all development must be in managed code, which makes it difficult to use the native code from existing / ported C/C++ libraries. This effectively means that code which is shared between other platforms can not be used on Windows Phone.

However, Windows Phone 8 does support native C++ code and several game engines, as announced by Microsoft in June, which should make it much easier to port games to Windows Phone from Android and iOS, or to include it in cross platform development projects.

Consequently, the likelihood is that Angry Birds Star Wars (and Angry Birds Space and Bad Piggies) will be available for Windows Phone 8, but not for Windows Phone 7.

Indeed, the November 8th timing for Angry Birds Star Wars ties in well with the expected consumer availability of Windows Phone 8 devices. Angry Birds Star Wars could well be one of the early hit titles for the platform, and would help address the "app-gap" complaint. A co-ordinated release and marketing campaign could well benefit Rovio, Microsoft and the various Windows Phone hardware manufacturers.

Or Rovio could opt to conentrate the initial launches on Android and iOS, where there is a large addressable market. All we know for sure at this stage is that the press release says the game will be available on "iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, Mac, PC, Windows Phone and Windows 8".

Source / Credit: Rovio