Interview: Discussing The New Bird In Angry Birds 2

Rovio, the publisher behind Angry Birds 2, recently added a brand new bird to the mix of weapons in the form of Melody. The first brand new bird added to the game in years, Melody adds in two new mechanics as she can inhale objects as she approaches, then fires them off in a direction you choose while also crashing into the pig's base. We got a chance to chat briefly with a couple members of the team as we interview the Head of Brand Operations, Eeva Aaltonen, and the Production Director of Stockholm Studio, Anastasia Kharlamova, about the latest addition.

Interview: Discussing The New Bird In Angry Birds 2

Hey everyone, how have things been this past year?

EA: Things have been great! It's been a very eventful year for us with launches (such as Angry Birds Journey), new partnerships (including Roblox and Minecraft), plus new animated content (like our Netflix series Angry Birds Summer Madness). From a brand perspective, we've put a lot of effort into things such as growing fandom through new partnership initiatives, our Rovio Discord server, and social media interactions with our fans.

What made you decide to add a brand new character to Angry Birds 2?

AK: This is something our players have been asking about for quite a while. We were looking into how to make our competitive game features even more interesting and versatile, and this year we made it possible to fully customize the flock, which opens an opportunity for a new bird to come in and spice up the competition.

Interview: Discussing The New Bird In Angry Birds 2

It's been seven long years since this last happened. Why now, and why this particular character?

AK: We are continuously looking into different parts of the game, the team behind Angry Birds 2 is not that big, so we always have to be strict with our priorities. We also felt that continually adding "extra birds" just for the sake of adding them is not always interesting in the end, because players were only able to pick one for the flock. So we needed time to invest in a bigger change, which happened this year. Now players can choose whichever birds they like to put in their flock, and the upcoming new bird will be more relevant for all our players. Regarding why this particular character, the brand-new ability we want to create for Angry Birds 2 is a unique mechanic that isn't seen in any existing bird in other franchises. So we decided this was a good time to create a new character to join the Angry Birds 2 universe. Of course, some of those existing birds may join later in the future too!

What was the process like in testing them out to make sure they were fun and not game-breaking?

AK: We have an internal process of testing new gameplay elements. We'll start with playtests within the team, and if the developers are happy with the results, we'll do playtests with the whole studio. We test different parts of the game, with a focus on competitive features. We also make sure that existing mechanics (terrains, pigs, towers) stay relevant and challenging with the introduction of the new bird.

Interview: Discussing The New Bird In Angry Birds 2
Credit: Rovio

Aside from obviously getting people back to playing the game, what's the plan with the character in the long-term vision of the game and franchise?

AK: ​​We hope that players will like the bird and it will become an integral part of the Angry Birds family. If this happens, anything is possible. Who knows, she might even get her own Twitter account :).

The new bird character is part of a bigger update for the game. What else are you adding to the game?

AK: With the introduction of Melody we are also trying a different approach of adding characters to the game. We will have a series of 'new bird'-related events which are new to the game, including one starting this week that includes new levels and content.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Gavin Sheehan

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, for random pictures and musings.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.