Rovio has decided to lift a page from the Skylanders playbook by linking the upcoming Angry Birds: Star Wars II to a line of small, interactive toys.
Angry Birds: Star Wars was, like all Angry Birds titles, a runaway hit. It should then come as little surprise that Angry Birds factory Rovio has decided to create a sequel to the game (appropriately dubbed Angry Birds: Star Wars II) that focuses on the more recent Star Wars trilogy. That however, is not the big news here. The big news is "telepods."
What's a telepod? Simply put it's a device that allows your copy of Angry Birds: Star Wars II to communicate with a line of toys developed as a joint effort between Rovio and Hasbro. If this sounds similar to the novel scheme that has made Activision's Skylanders franchise such a hit, that's because it's basically the same idea, only with spherical Jar Jar Binks in place of that series' heavily-armed anthropomorphic beasts.
Given the massive sum of cash pulled down by Skylanders to date, it makes perfect sense for the likewise kid-friendly Angry Birds franchise to add a physical toy component, but Rovio executive vice president Jami Laes paints the scheme as a (quite literally) game-changing addition.
"We are thrilled to be able to introduce the exciting next chapter in the Angry Birds: Star Wars saga to our fans around the world," Laes writes in this morning's announcement. "Some of the most amazing character additions are versions of young Anakin, Mace Windu, and Darth Maul. Hasbro's Telepods technology also provides a great way to extend the experience beyond the app and bring a whole new dimension to the gameplay."
There's currently no release date or pricing information for Angry Birds: Star Wars II, but we'll be sure to bring you that information as soon as it comes available.