People like "Angry Birds." People have bought many copies of "Angry Birds." But up until now, "Angry Birds" has been a strictly "Angry Birds"-only affair. That is to say, other companies haven't really gotten in on the "Angry Birds" phenomenon. It's a bit surprising, given how easy it would be to toss in a Coke-branded bird or a Boar's Head Ham-themed pig. Apparently someone realized that there's money to be made, though, as Rovio is working on a new installment to the franchise, titled "Angry Birds Rio," which is tied in to the upcoming animated film, "Rio."
The movie, "Rio," tells the story of a domesticated macaw from the mid-west who finds himself in Rio de Janeiro. It's one of those fish out of water stories that makes for such consistent animated feature fun.
The avian-centric premise makes it a good fit for "Angry Birds," but Rovio will be adding plot elements from "Rio" to keep things authentic. For example, the angry birds will be attempting to free other trapped birds from pet smugglers. These smugglers, for the purposes of creative license, may or may not be pigs.
"Angry Birds Rio" (trailer) is scheduled to release in March and will include 45 new levels. You should also expect Rio-themed environments and obstacles, with at least some passing reference to Carnivale. No word yet on whether the game will be free (falling under the advertainment template) or whether it'll cost the standard "Angry Birds" price of a dollar. I'm betting it'll be the latter, if only because Rovio wouldn't want to devalue their paid version, but if that is the case, one would hope for more updates beyond the initial 45 levels.
It also makes me wonder whether these screenshots of what I thought was "Angry Birds 2" were actually taken from "Angry Birds Rio." Hmmmmm...