Finnish mobile game-maker Rovio announced the latest spinoff from its popular Angry Birds game will be available in China exclusively on e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s mobile game platform.
Starting today, Angry Birds Stella will be available for download through Alibaba’s mobile applications such as its Mobile Taobao online shopping app and Laiwang chat app, as well as e-payments provider Alipay’s smartphone app, Alipay Wallet.
According to an Alibaba Group press release, users will also be able to download the game from Sina Corp’s Weibo games platform, UCWeb’s mobile game platform and the Youku Tudou app – all companies Alibaba Group owns stakes in.
Angry Birds Stella focuses on a pink Angry Bird character, Stella, and her adventures. The game, which is marketed to female mobile gamers, sticks by the original formula whereby players flick cartoon birds through the air with the aim of hitting obstacles in order to clear levels.
The simple yet addictive game play has made the Angry Birds series one of the most successful mobile game franchises in the world with 2 billion downloads since it launched in 2009. In recent years, Rovio has tried to create a storyline and brand around the series, opening theme parks in Finland, the U.K. and Malaysia as well as launching soft toys, beverages and even producing a movie – all in the hopes of building brand loyalty among famously fickle mobile gamers and developing other streams of revenue.
The original Angry Birds game was once highly popular in China but it has since lost its luster and has been overtaken by other games such as Temple Run 2, according to iResearch’s latest ranking of the most popular Android games in China.
Rovio already has a store on Alibaba Group’s business-to-consumer e-commerce website, Tmall.com, selling Angry Birds merchandise while both parties will cooperate on expanding Rovio’s consumer merchandise line into Tmall’s beauty and cosmetic vertical in order to market effectively to women. To coincide with the launch of the game, Tmall’s beauty vertical and Alibaba’s mobile game unit will launch an “Angry Birds Stella Nail Art” competition to attract female users to the game, said the press release.
Since the launch of Alibaba’s mobile games platform in January, the e-commerce giant has made a concerted effort to draw popular games. In August, Alibaba invested $120 million into San Francisco-based game developer Kabam to bring to China that company’s popular games.
"Alibaba has a deep relationship and understanding with its Chinese consumers,” said Rovio spokesman Peter Vesterbacka in the press release. “The successful merging of Alibaba’s mobile game platform and its e-commerce model has given us confidence that Angry Birds Stella will be able to delight our Chinese fans.”
By Melanie Lee | Sep 04, 2014 | 03:06 PM