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Angry Birds dev launches Rovio Stars, third-party publishing label

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Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment will soon begin publishing third-party mobile games under its new Rovio Stars initiative, the Finnish company announced today.

"Rovio Entertainment has positioned itself as one of the powerhouses of mobile entertainment, so moving into publishing is a logical step for us at this point," said Jami Laes, the company's new executive vice president of games, in a press release announcing Rovio Stars.

The first game the studio will publish under its Rovio Stars label is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage. Developed by London-based Nitrome, which is known primarily for web-based Flash games, Icebreaker is a physics-based puzzle title in which you help a Viking apprentice survive obstacle courses by doing things like slicing massive blocks of ice. It is set for release soon on iOS devices; you can watch a trailer above.

Tiny Thief, by Barcelona-based 5 Ants, is the second planned Rovio Stars title. It's a medieval side-scrolling stealth game with a gorgeously colorful aesthetic in which you play as a young thief. Tiny Thief is in development on iOS, Android, Windows PC and Mac; you can check out a teaser trailer below.

"In the course of our work, we run into so many fantastic upcoming titles — games with memorable characters and entertaining gameplay that are also just really fun to play," said Kalle Kaivola, Rovio's director of development. "We want to help the developers to give these games that last coat of polish, publish the games and find their audience.

"We're focusing on a small, select number of games, and each Rovio Stars launch will be an event of its own."