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Rovio teases "Angry Birds" racing game

Having taken the Angry Birds and piggies to space and beyond, Rovio teases what appears to be an Angry Birds racing game.

Angry Birds, start your engines! On Wednesday, Rovio teased Angry Birds Go!, suggesting the massive game franchise is about to get behind the wheel of a racing game.

Although the company released just a single teaser image, the corresponding Angry Birds Go! site featured the familar sound of a slingshot being drawn back, as well as the "beep-beep" sound that accompanies the start of a racing game.  A flurry of feathers then races toward the horizon, underneath a rock formation and around a bend.

Rovio said nothing further, although Rovio later released this cheeky tweet later in the day:

A statement from Red about #AngryBirdsGo: "Squawk, squawk. Ca-caw. Chirp!" - hmm, maybe @google can translate that for us?

Rovio's Angry Birds franchise is arguably the most popular mobile game on the planet, cracking 1 billion downloads in September 2012, with the game being downloaded 8 million times on Christmas Day 2012 alone. Those figures apparently included some of the five iterations of the Angry Birds franchise: Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space, and Angry Birds Star Wars. A spinoff, Bad Piggies, was relased last September, taking on the role of the pigs in an attempt to build ramshackle vehicles to capture pieces of a map leading to the coveted Angry Birds eggs.

But if Angry Birds Go is a racing game, there looks might there be a rather cynical reason for it: money. According to a report, Angry Birds Space held the record for most frequent downloads, until it was cracked by an endless runner: Temple Run 2, which was downloaded 50 million times in 13 days, about double the rate of Angry Birds Space.

What do we know about Angry Birds Go? Not much. But if the admittedly short animation holds true, we could see a racing game or endless runner in the mold of Temple Run, with the birds jumping (flying?) over some obstacles, and smashing through others. If that's the case, the variety of Angry Birds suggests that players could try different combinations of birds to lower their times--remember, those little blue birds are especially good at smashing ice, while the slower, giant red birds smash through just about anything.

Unfortunately, Rovio hasn't provided any additional details on its Rovio Accounts, a rather businesslike name for the ability to sync a player's progress across the ecosystem of Angry Birds games and various phone and tablet platforms.

We don't have a release date for Angry Birds Go. But if history holds, Go will be a blockbuster, at least among the kids. Rovio has already released a handful of cartoons showcasing the Birds' battle with the piggies, and has released a ton of related merchandise, including T-shirts, backpacks, and band-aids, among others.

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