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Rovio 'Betting Everything' On  Angry Birds , Targeting 1 Billion Fans
Rovio 'Betting Everything' On Angry Birds, Targeting 1 Billion Fans
July 20, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

July 20, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
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Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka says his company is "betting everything" on the ultra-popular Angry Birds brand, saying he'd like it to be "the first entertainment brand with a billion fans."

Speaking at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle (as reported by VentureBeat), Vesterbacka said reaching such levels of popularity would "take us two or three years to do." The goal, Vesterbacka said, was to make Angry Birds in to a long-term brand on par with Mario or Mickey Mouse.

Included in Vesterbacka's plans for growth is a hope to become China's most popular entertainment brand by next year, he said, with planned launches across a number of Chinese mobile devices and even a flagship store devoted to Angry Birds merchandise.

Angry Birds officially launched in China in May through a partnership with Chinese mobile games network Downjoy. But sales from such official efforts in the highly-populated country are likely dwarfed by derivative knock-offs and pirated versions on jailbroken iPhones.

Vesterbacka addressed this concern at the conference, saying the only way to fight it was with quality. "Instead of sending lawyers, we are building products," he said.

As for putting all the company's eggs in a single Angry Birds basket, Vesterbacka said he realized Rovio was unlikely to create another product that had such an immense impact.

"Game makers buy into their own bullshit," he said. "You think you can make hit after hit. We know how hard it is to do that, so we are betting everything on Angry Birds."

The Angry Birds games have been downloaded 250 million times as of June, with over 100 million monthly active users spending 200 million minutes a day on the titles.

Licensed plush toys based on the characters have sold over 2 million units, according to the company, and the games are being developed for everything from an animated series to a cook book, "Bad Piggies Secret Egg Recipes."


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Comments


George Blott
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"Game makers buy into their own bullshit,"

Matthew Cooper
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ALL IN

Andrew Grapsas
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"As for putting all the company's eggs in a single Angry Birds basket, Vesterbacka said he realized Rovio was unlikely to create another product that had such an immense impact."



Well... way to... dream... big.



"We know we can't make good games. This was a fluke." Somehow, that's what I read.

zed zeek
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I read it as being realistic. quite a smart trait!

100 million users per month, what is close to that?

farmville or pokemon perhaps (at their height)

what hasnt reached that number? well basically everything else

world of warcraft NOPE, call of duty NADA, halo NO, etc

whilst those games have prolly made more cash, they wouldnt of reached more ppl

Jeremy Reaban
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Well, of course, Angry Birds is the only thing they've got that is popular...



And even then, they've angered a lot of people (well dozens) by what they've pulled with the PSP/PS3 Mini version of Angry Birds.



(Basically the original version by Chillingo was very badly done, with a lot of slowdown. But that's been pulled from the store, to be replaced by one by Rovio that fixes things a little bit. The catch? People have to buy it again...)

Jorge Ramos
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1 billion ways to play Angry Birds? Possible.



What they should consider is making a "pro" mode of the app for PC & Mac, that - among other things - allows a sort of course creator/editor, so that users could create their own birdy-flinging puzzles. *THAT* would get a lot of people wanting to buy, and even more content to keep the other AB players playing long into whatever projects they might be into making. I should hope creating such an editor for end users to use couldn't be too difficult at this point.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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"We know how hard it is to do that, so we are betting everything on Angry Birds.""



Well, I respect the modesty I suppose. I'm still curious to see what other games they can come up with. Sure Angry Birds was heavily "inspired" by a Flash game, but it was very well-polished and one of the few touchscreen games that actually felt "right" on a touchscreen. With as much money as they must have behind them, it would be awesome to see what they can do when they apply that polish to an original idea.

Brent Orford
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"Vesterbacka said he realized Rovio was unlikely to create another product that had such an immense impact"



I bet Rovio VP of franchise development Ville Heijari wishes his CEO would have mentioned these beliefs to him before he started talking about Rovio's valuation being higher than PopCap!

Enrique Hernandez
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I missread it as: "Rovio betting everything that they will get a billion fans"

Duong Nguyen
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I sure hope someone doesn't create a Angry Bird clone or a better Angry Bird game.. Surely people will never get tired of a single game..

jayvee inamac
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"As for putting all the company's eggs in a single Angry Birds basket, Vesterbacka said he realized Rovio was unlikely to create another product that had such an immense impact."



such a good motivation for a moving a game company forward.

Florian Garcia
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Tomorrow, we'll hear about someone at Rovio taking a dump and eating chips.

Jamie Mann
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That's... ambitious.



According to Facebook's in-house (and almost certainly over-estimated/rounded up), they've got 750 million users. Can a single game really get a third more users than this?



More importantly, by "fans", does he mean active players? By their own stats, roughly 40% of "legitimate" downloaders are playing the game on a monthly basis; if we assume this ratio scales linearly, to get 1 billion active users, they'd need 2.5 billion people to have downloaded the game...

Harry Fields
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He's just trying to fluff the brand, sell for some unrealistic figure to someone who knows jack about the industry and retire to an island. I can dig that. I love AB, but it will die. No game lasts forever.


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