Angry Birds maker Rovio released its newest game last week, Bad Piggies, and it shot straight to the top of the paid app rankings on the iPhone.It’s run at the top may be short lived, though. Unlike Angry Birds, Bad Piggies is not a simple game to understand. Therefore it’s not much fun.
Bad Piggies is a spin out from the Angry Birds franchise. Instead of using birds to blow up the pigs, players build contraptions for the pigs to capture eggs. The game’s theme is the opposite of Angry Bids. And unfortunately for Rovio, the game’s playability is also the opposite.
This weekend I told my Dad to download Bad Piggies. He has just about every Angry Birds game on his iPhone, so I assumed he’d want the latest from Rovio. He played with it for 20 minutes before telling me he couldn’t figure it out. I assumed he was being a difficult old man and went to play the game myself. I was perplexed by the game. It wasn’t intuitive, it wasn’t fun. I couldn’t figure it out.
Three hours later my dad told me he deleted the game from his phone.
This morning when I came to office, Business Insider’s personal tech guru Steve Kovach told me his mum tried the game this weekend and couldn’t figure it out either. She had no idea what she was doing, and gave up. And she’s an “Angry Birds junkie.” Business Insider’s Kevin Smith, who writes about apps all the time, downloaded Bad Piggies and couldn’t figure it out.
Rovio envisions itself as a multi-billion company in the early stages of becoming the next Disney, a media company currently valued at $94 billion. It already reportedly rejected a $2.25 billion offer from Zynga last year. Earlier this year, Reuters cited “analysts” saying Rovio could be worth $9 billion.
If it’s going to become the next Disney, then it’s going to need more than just Angry Birds. It’s going to need a diverse group of games people love. Eventually, people will burn out on Angry Birds.
Bad Piggies doesn’t look like it’s the next big franchise for Rovio. (Unless, it re-tools the game to make it easier for the normals to use.)
Until we see Rovio release some games that succeed beyond Angry Birds, we’re going to be extremely sceptical of its ambitions to become the next Disney. If it’s not careful, it could end up being the next Zynga. A hot gaming company people thought would develop into a world changing company that ultimately came up short.