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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Lets hope they put all that success toward making a game that is actually fun



  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    I want his hoodie.
  • Reply 4 of 39
    ted13ted13 Posts: 65member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 39
    davemcm76davemcm76 Posts: 268member
    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…
  • Reply 6 of 39
    dunnydunny Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    I want his hoodie.



    http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...T#ht_785wt_932
  • Reply 7 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
  • Reply 8 of 39
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,365member
    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/
  • Reply 9 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!)
  • Reply 10 of 39
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post


    Your humor sucks



    Your manners sucks
  • Reply 11 of 39
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    xsamplexxsamplex Posts: 214member
    Since this game is destined to flame out, I assume this guy is bright enough to cash out before the inevitable.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    coolcatcoolcat Posts: 156member
    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?
  • Reply 14 of 39
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Your manners sucks



    Now, that just doesn't work, does it?
  • Reply 15 of 39
    mobiusmobius Posts: 378member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by madhatter61 View Post


    Your humor sucks



    Your manners sucks



    Your grammar sucks.
  • Reply 16 of 39
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,853member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 39
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobius View Post


    your grammars sucks.



    t,ftfy.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    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...
  • Reply 20 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....
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