By Jonathan Charles | Jul 13, 2012 09:32 AM EDT
Rovio is known for its super popular Angry Birds franchise - which it is, from the expansion packs to the Angry Birds toys - but the company has launched a new mobile title: Amazing Alex, a physics-based puzzle game. Rovio's success with Angry Birds has led the company to be valued up to $9 billion and the company even claimed it wants to be bigger than Disney.
The move to first place on the App Store charts is the fastest of any non-movie tie-in, or expansion of an existing software, app. Rovio has been pushing out expansions for Angry Birds such as Angry Birds Rio and Angry Birds Seasons, along with the successor - Angry Birds Space - which is built around planets having gravity which alters the birds' trajectory.
"Launching new franchises has turned out to be tough for even the most successful app vendors, but Amazing Alex reached the Number One position in the iPhone Paid App chart in eight hours," analyst Tero Kuittinen of Finnish mobile firm Alekstra said. Amazing Alex is based on Casey's Contraptions, developed by Noel Llopis and Miguel Angel Friginal, featuring educational elements.
Angry Birds launched just three years ago, in 2009. While not radical in its formula - players use a slingshot to fire birds at structures and destroy green pigs - the pick-up-and-play gameplay and low price mean casual and hardcore gamers flocked to the title.
Now, in 2012, the app has over a billion downloads and consistently places in the top position on the Grossing tab of the iOS App Store. At the end of 2011 the app had 200 million users, The Times of India reported, while Zynga - creators of free-to-play Facebook game Farmville - has 240 million.
In the same year Rovio made $100 million in sales and raised $42 million in funding. Rovio was founded in 2003. On May 9, 2012, Rovio announced that Angry Birds has reached a billion downloads. "We are so thankful to all our fans for their support, and we can't wait for them to see what we have coming up," Rovio communications officer Sini Matikainen said.
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