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Angry Birds boss says Apple's iPhone 'changed everything'

post #1 of 39
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Speaking at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing on Wednesday, the head of Rovio Mobile, the developer behind the bestselling Angry Birds app, said that Apple's iPhone has changed the whole mobile market, noting also that the franchise has become the third most copied brand in China, behind Disney and Hello Kitty.

Vesterbacka, whose job title is the "Mighty Eagle" of Rovio, quizzed the crowd of more than two thousand attendees to discover that "mostly everybody" had played Angry Birds.

The popular app has grown "faster than any brand ever before," quickly becoming a global phenomenon. The Angry Birds Rio version of the game became the fastest downloaded game ever with 10 million downloads in 10 days, said Vesterbacka.

Many of those games were developed for other gaming publishing houses; Angry Birds was Rovio's first attempt at developing its own intellectual property and franchise.

Despite lacking a fully implemented marketing plan in China, Angry Birds' popularity has spread to the country, which boasts more than 300 million mobile internet users. According to Vesterbacka, Rovio is now the third most copied brand in China, behind only Disney and Hello Kitty.

Vesterbacka showing an early design sketch of Angry Birds

Vesterbacka admitted that, in spite of the copying, the company was excited to break into the local market and had set a goal to become "the most copied brand in China," while adding that Rovio would "also like to sell authentic products as well."

Rovio's goal is to hit 100 million downloads in China in 2011, on its way to becoming a "leading entertainment brand" in the country in 2012. "We think we can do it, and to do that we're setting up a local operation and investing a lot into creating special versions of Angry Birds" for Chinese users.

The developer was also quick to point out that the popularity of Angry Birds wasn't just an "overnight success." Before Angry Birds, Rovio had designed 51 games since the Finnish company was founded in 2003.

Vesterbacka onstage at the GMIC in Beijing

Vesterbacka also attributed much of his company's success to Apple. When comparing the current mobile game climate with black-and-white feature phone games like Snake, he noted that "we have Apple to thank for a lot of change in the industry."

"Apple brought out the iPhone and it changed everything," he said, adding that before the arrival of the iPhone and App Store, carriers and handset makers prevented developers from directly reaching their fans.

"Apple created the distribution for us that we didn't have before. All of a sudden, great games mattered," said Vesterbacka. With Apple's new distribution model, Rovio was able to attain an unprecedented "hockey stick" growth curve. "We are seeing smartphone growth explode, and we are riding that wave," the executive said.

Vesterbacka pointed to Rovio's decision to design the game "around the characters" as contributing to Angry Birds' mass appeal. The company looked to Pixar and other entertainment franchises as models for "character-driven development."

According to the developer, 40 percent of Angry Birds customers make opt for the "Mighty Eagle" in-app purchase, compared to 2 to 3 percent for most companies. Rovio's goal is to reach a 50 percent conversion rate for in-app purchases.

Vesterbacka has been a vocal advocate for the iOS platform. Late last year, he said in an interview that he expects Apple to be "the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective."

Though Rovio has seen some success on the Android platform, Vesterbacka sees "fragmentation of the [Android] ecosystem" as an issue. "The carriers [are] messing with the experience again," he said, adding that Android is "open, but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem.

Last November, Vesterbacka apologized to fans for poor Angry Birds performance across a variety of Android devices and promised to develop a "lighter solution" for lower-end Android devices.
post #2 of 39
Lets hope they put all that success toward making a game that is actually fun

post #3 of 39
-- Though Rovio has seen some success on the Android platform, Vesterbacka sees "fragmentation of the [Android] ecosystem" as an issue.

I thought Rovio was making more money on the Android platform because of all the ads.

It makes sense... either get $1 from the purchase of the game once... or get ad revenue every time you play the game.
post #4 of 39
I want his hoodie.
post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

-- Though Rovio has seen some success on the Android platform, Vesterbacka sees "fragmentation of the [Android] ecosystem" as an issue.

I thought Rovio was making more money on the Android platform because of all the ads.

It makes sense... either get $1 from the purchase of the game once... or get ad revenue every time you play the game.

If you believe that, I have a bridge for you. You only get paid for the ads of users click through -- which they are unlikely to do over and over. They are also unlikely to keep playing Angry Birds if it performs like crap on their phone. Meanwhile Rovio does have a steady income on iOS -- in app purchases; new versions of the game; and for good measure an ad supported version as well.
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I want his hoodie.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Angry-Birds-.../dp/B004NDTB0K

So go buy one… if you aren't in the uk I'm sure your local branch of amazon sells them too…
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I want his hoodie.

http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...T#ht_785wt_932
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Lets hope they put all that success toward making a game that is actually fun


Your humor sucks
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted13 View Post

If you believe that, I have a bridge for you. You only get paid for the ads of users click through -- which they are unlikely to do over and over. They are also unlikely to keep playing Angry Birds if it performs like crap on their phone. Meanwhile Rovio does have a steady income on iOS -- in app purchases; new versions of the game; and for good measure an ad supported version as well.

You should probably think about getting that paperwork going on the bridge transfer.

http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2011...s-android-ios/
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post #10 of 39
"Angry Birds boss says Apple's iPhone 'changed everything'"

It sure changed everything for him - he made a fortune off it. (Good for him!)
post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post

Your humor sucks

Your manners sucks
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Angry-Birds-.../dp/B004NDTB0K

So go buy one… if you aren't in the uk I'm sure your local branch of amazon sells them too…


Thanks... Interestingly, the Amazon red bird is angrier than the eBay one.
post #13 of 39
Since this game is destined to flame out, I assume this guy is bright enough to cash out before the inevitable.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Lets hope they put all that success toward making a game that is actually fun


So a-holes like you will STFU?
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Your manners sucks

Now, that just doesn't work, does it?
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post

Your humor sucks

Your manners sucks

Your grammar sucks.
"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything" Robert Zemeckis/Bob Gale/Robert_E._Lee
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"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything" Robert Zemeckis/Bob Gale/Robert_E._Lee
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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Lets hope they put all that success toward making a game that is actually fun


I won't say your humor sucks, because I don't even though if that is supposed to be a joke. You don't think Angry Birds is fun?
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #18 of 39
3 Stars on every level in both the original and Rio versions for the iPad. I sent a screenshot to my mother to prove I’ve accomplished something in my life. She was so proud.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius View Post

your grammars sucks.

t,ftfy.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I won't say your humor sucks, because I don't even though if that is supposed to be a joke. You don't think Angry Birds is fun?

Sure it's fun! In the same kind of way that balancing a sharpie on its tip is fun, or hammering in a nail with your head is fun (ok... so I've never tried that second one, but I assume it's the same feeling )

In any case there is certainly a sense of accomplishment after each level.

As a side note did you notice the 20x higher than average in-app purchase rate for an add in that lets you not play the game...
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Since this game is destined to flame out, I assume this guy is bright enough to cash out before the inevitable.

That's what I'm not sure about...

...this seems to be as legit of a mainstream hit and/or Iconic of a character set as we've seen since the Nintendo glory days.

They could drive it into the ground, but I'm amazed at how widespread the Angry Birds playing is....
post #22 of 39
Angry Birds is like super mario for the can.

Also, I wonder what game developers for Nokia or Windows Mobile thought of those platforms. Changed everything?
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolcat View Post

So a-holes like you will STFU?

awwwwwwwww
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post

Since this game is destined to flame out, I assume this guy is bright enough to cash out before the inevitable.

Oh, it's got a few years in it, and I'm sure they've got some skunkworks in place for the next big thing after Angry Birds. And this guy seems smart enough not to blow all his earnings right now on fast cars, coke and hookers.

But here's what they have going for them... For newbies, Angry Birds with many interesting and addicting levels. Then there's Angry Birds Seasons, which is really cute because they've got Halloween, Xmas, Easter, St Patricks Day, Valentines Day... really good themes. There's movie tie-ins, Angry Birds Rio is just the start, you can imagine one or two other movie franchises that would be very interested in them. Plus don't forget an actual Angry Birds movie, with the appropriate sequels. And we haven't even got into the merchandising.

It's a franchise now. No longer just a game. And they've built it not on the game mechanics per se but on characters like he says. As ridiculous as it sounds seeing green pigs in an easter bunny hat, st. patrick's hat, cowboy hat, crown, cupid thingie, pumpkins... it's all quite endearing.
post #25 of 39
What that asshole should be saying is that he owes his major success on the iPhone to a little-known Flash game called "Crush the Castle". It came out in the first half of 2009. Angry Birds is virtually the EXACT SAME GAME with different graphics and a few small additions ported to a touchscreen.

Yes, the idea of flinging something in a parabola has been around a long time, but this was a ripoff that was damned near verbatim, right down to the movements of the camera.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thefinaleofseem View Post

What that asshole should be saying is that he owes his major success on the iPhone to a little-known Flash game called "Crush the Castle". It came out in the first half of 2009. Angry Birds is virtually the EXACT SAME GAME with different graphics and a few small additions ported to a touchscreen.

Yes, the idea of flinging something in a parabola has been around a long time, but this was a ripoff that was damned near verbatim, right down to the movements of the camera.

Good artists copy, Great artists steal, Assholes make money.

Karma will sort things out one way or another.
post #27 of 39
I enjoy playing Angry Birds, but am a little overwhelmed by the number of versions available. Not only does one have to shell out significant cash (compared to .99) for each game, but you have to shell out cash for iPhone vs iPad. While it's understandable that they want to earn revenue, it's a bit too aggressive to me.
post #28 of 39
[Angry Birds] is "the most copied brand in China," while adding that Rovio would "also like to sell authentic products as well."

Until that happens can we steal Chinese products here?
post #29 of 39
Angry Birds is alright, but it isn't that great. They did get my money though because my girlfriend forced me to buy the full versions of their games.

Angry Birds kind of reminds me of Hogs of Wars, except simpler. Hogs of War was a great game and I think it's even better than Angry Birds. Somebody should release Hogs of War for the iPad. That game would sell a shitload if they did.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antinous View Post


Until that happens can we steal Chinese products here?

Do the Chinese even make anything original worth stealing? All they know how to do is to copy and rip other people and ideas off.
post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

You should probably think about getting that paperwork going on the bridge transfer.

http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2011...s-android-ios/

The article say Android version of the bird generate recurring revenue, but didn't say anything about whether they get paid just for displaying the ad in their game or only when user click them.
post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsu View Post

The article say Android version of the bird generate recurring revenue, but didn't say anything about whether they get paid just for displaying the ad in their game or only when user click them.

HUH? What does that have to do with making as much revenue in the Android Market as in the Appstore?
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post #33 of 39
This is not a mobile game this is a cell phone game. As a person who would call them self a gamer. I hate how people attempt to paint iOS and android devices as video game machines. They are not. They have a lot of limitations in place such as limited input being restricted to a touch screen. Not being optimized for gaming. Its almost how idiots say Sony and Nintendo compete with iOS devices for mobile gaming. They don't no one will waste their money on an Ipod touch just to play games. They buy those items to get on the internet, run apps, listen to Itunes music and other things. If you want a gaming device you buy something optimized to play games. Angry birds is fun. But it has nothing on Metal gear solid or God of war or Crisis core.
post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

This is not a mobile game this is a cell phone game. As a person who would call them self a gamer. I hate how people attempt to paint iOS and android devices as video game machines. They are not. They have a lot of limitations in place such as limited input being restricted to a touch screen. Not being optimized for gaming. Its almost how idiots say Sony and Nintendo compete with iOS devices for mobile gaming. They don't no one will waste their money on an Ipod touch just to play games. They buy those items to get on the internet, run apps, listen to Itunes music and other things. If you want a gaming device you buy something optimized to play games. Angry birds is fun. But it has nothing on Metal gear solid or God of war or Crisis core.

As far back as August 2008, John Carmack would have disagreed with you:

http://www.intomobile.com/2008/08/01...aming-systems/

And if you don't know who he is, then you aren't a gamer.
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobius View Post

Your grammar sucks.

Krypton sucks.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

3 Stars on every level in both the original and Rio versions for the iPad. I sent a screenshot to my mother to prove Ive accomplished something in my life. She was so proud.

What, other than spending 24/7 replying to threads on AppleInsider.
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

t,ftfy.

Your punctuation sucks.

T, ftfy
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Do the Chinese even make anything original worth stealing?

They offered that up a few centuries ago, when we forgot to pay royalties for stuff like gunpowder, paper, and ceramics.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Apple created the distribution for us that we didn't have before. All of a sudden, great games mattered," said Vesterbacka.

Exactly, once you have a popular device and a seamless distribution model, all you need to cover is content. Unfortunately, it seems we are still waiting for this to happen.

Why can't Rockstar put GTA Vice City or San Andreas on iOS for example? Why can't EA games put Burnout on it? Why can't Valve put Half-Life 2 and Portal on it? Why can't Konami put Silent Hill 2 on it? Why can't Blizzard put WoW on it? Why can't Epic put UT on it? Oddworld games, Longest Journey, Syberia, Still Life, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory/Double Agent/Pandora Tomorrow, NFSU, Max Payne, RTCW, Starcraft 2 and on and on.

So many huge franchises that could be ported over but for some reason aren't. I think Apple would do well to figure out why this is the case and make some moves to resolve the situation. Gaming is one of the most popular activities on the iOS devices so it makes sense to improve the selection on offer.
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