Rovio, parent company of Angry Birds, the video game-and-everything-else franchise featuring suicidal birds destroying the homes of kidnapper pigs (sometimes in space, as Star Wars characters), has rolled out its newest branch of the feathered family, Stella. Featuring a “feisty” lady lead and her “passionate pals,” could this be the game maker taking a step back from “boy toy market” oriented fare? There’s isn’t too much we know about Angry Birds Stella yet, but what it says to me so far is “we want to market to girls without actually saying ‘girls’,” and that’s pretty interesting.
The tagline on Stella is “Best friends forever, most of the time,” and Rovio’s press release plays up the idea of social connections and misconnections between a set of characters, which seems odd for a game where you fling birds to their death.
Stella may be pink, but she’s definitely one of the Angry Birds, a fierce and a feisty character with a great group of friends. Of course no story is complete without some interesting (fr)enemies!… There will be plenty of fun and adventure, but the bunch of passionate pals will also have to deal with some serious issues in order to protect their friendship and the environment they live in. Luckily, Stella and her friends are good at finding creative solutions!
Maybe it’s not odd, though? I guess I haven’t played anything but the original Angry Birds demo. Do Angry Birds games usually have rich characters? Is the character stuff just going to come into play in the inevitable cartoons and books? Maybe I’m even wrong in my initial suspicions, but “social drama between friends” is rarely a plot element used to sell media to boys, and that’s leaving out that, like, evil queen bird looming over a mountain in silhouette.
Anyway, regardless of whether Rovio intends Stella to appeal to girls, and regardless of whether the concept is particularly groundbreaking or progressive, from now on I will be referring Stella as Angry Birds: Friendship is Magic.
Yeah. That won’t confuse anybody.