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Rovio moves into publishing with content for kids and teens

Finnish developer of one-time blockbuster mobile game Angry Birds, Rovio, has announced a new move – into publishing. The company has launched a subsidiary - Kaiken Publishing - that will produce content such as books and comics series to target a youthful audience.

StormSisters kirjoja.
Image: Rovio

Rovio's latest venture takes the company into the realm of publishing as its new subsidiary Kaiken Publishing seeks to extend the life of the Angry Birds franchise on the printed page. The new company will aim to keep the familiar feathered creatures in the air by introducing new stories, environments and figures to the theme.

Kaiken's publisher and chief executive Laura Nevanlinna said that the production schedule will contain something old and something new.

"This year the biggest thing for us is the publication programme for the Angry Birds movie. We have global partners representing roughly 30 language regions and we will be releasing books based on the movie in all of those territories. We will also expand the roster of books for children and teens with content such as a young reader's series," Nevanlinna said.

Laura Nevanlinna.
Laura Nevanlinna is chief executive of Rovio's new venture Kaiken Publishing. Image: Yle

Kaiken's owners said that it will never be a traditional publishing company. Nevanlinna compared the company's operational model to that of a production company – the company will not itself print or distribute books or e-content in any market area.

"Our mission is to find and create ideas and storylines that we want to develop into books. We will develop them in-house, find writers and possible photographers and deliver the text and style," she explained.

Kaiken's closest partners will thus become its network of local publishers.

"The publishers know the needs of their markets best and we trust their professional skills to handle tasks like translation and appropriate marketing," the CEO added.

Pirate girls and Norse gods

The company will roll out the first example of its new approach to publishing on Thursday, when the first part of its Storm Sisters youth series, "The Sinking World", appears on shelves in Finland. The pirate girl adventure series written by Mintie Das will be followed by another title featuring ancient gods as popularised by Matthew Laurence in the "Freya" series. The first installment is expected next year.

In addition to licensing novels featuring the Rovio bands, Kaiken said it will focus on publishing literature aimed at children and young adults, as well as comic series for all ages and tastes.

Known for his long stint as editor-in-chief for the wildly popular Finnish version of the Donald Duck comics, Aku Ankka, Jukka Heiskanen will head up Kaiken's comic book unit.  Nevanlinna joined the new Rovio enterprise from local publisher Tammela.

Rovio is no stranger to publishing - it has been working with Finnish publishers since 2010. The game firm began its foray into the arena in 2011 with a cook book, "The Bad Piggies' Egg Recipes". So far the company has published and sold licenses for hundreds of books in more than 50 countries.

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