Rovio is looking to leverage the popularity of the Angry Bird brand with the new Angry Birds Go! racing game.

Not many people know Rovio, but hundreds of millions of people know Rovio's Angry Birds brand.

This is the reason that the Finnish smartphone maker has decided that launching a new Angry Birds game was a better idea than launching a completely new IP.

Angry Birds Go!, a Mario Kart-style racing game launched globally on 11 December, and will look to leverage the popularity of the furry characters known around the world.

The figures back this belief up - the games have been downloaded more than two billion times; the cartoon series has been viewed more than a billion times and Rovio now has a catalogue of over 30,000 individual pieces of merchandise - generating almost 50% of the companies revenue.

Jami Laes, the head of gaming at Rovio, says that we can expect new types of games featuring the same cast of characters in the coming years, rather than simply producing a Star Wars version of Go!, a tactic which has previously been very successful for Rovio:

"I think we are more interested in looking at different forms of games to provide diversity for our fans, whether it is Angry Birds or whether it is a new IP for that matter. Angry Birds is the bedrock of the company but at the same time, there needs to be other things going forward as well."

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