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Angry Birds launching in China, Rovio hoping for a billion fans

“We want to be the first entertainment brand with a billion fans,” Rovio head Peter Vesterbecka told attendees of Seattle's Casual Connect show this week. “That will take us two or three years to do. Next year, we want to be the leading entertainment brand in China.” Rovio, who says its Angry Birds has been the fastest entertainment brand in history to gain 100 million monthly active users, is enthusiastically pursuing the Chinese market, with Chinese-language versions of Angry Birds, a Shanghai office and a store built for the sole purpose of equipping Chinese consumers with Angry Birds-related paraphernalia. It's all part of the plan to make Angry Birds as big a name as Mario or Mickey Mouse.


Above: A fraction of the merch available to the Angry Birds enthusiast

Angry Birds is the third most pirated brand in China, reports VentureBeat, surpassed only by Disney and Hello Kitty. This may be cause for concern, but it's also proof of an untapped market, says Vesterbecka: “You can’t really fight that except by making better products than the copies. Instead of sending lawyers, we are building products.” Angry Birds Magic chips built into genuine merchandise provide added in-game content and an edge over knock-offs.


Above: Vesterbecka gesticulates to avoid being mistakenly loaded into a slingshot

“All of our enterprises have to be insanely profitable,” says Besterbecka, “and so far they are.” The company isn't going the usual route of establishing a presence and following up with new IP: “Game makers buy into their own bullshit. You think you can make hit after hit. We know how hard it is to do that.” Rovio released 51 games before finding success with Angry Birds, a mascot-ready spin on the “catapult physics” genre established by titles like Armor Games' Crush the Castle. Hence Rovio is “betting everything on Angry Birds” in the effort to propel the brand to the same level of ubiquity as characters like Mario. Do you think their strategy will pay off?

 Jul 21, 2011

Source: VentureBeat

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11 comments

  • onetimebuster - July 22, 2011 12:50 a.m.

    Lets see this dude make a new game and just becuase someone buys a games doesnt make them a fan to me angry birds is just another game i played for a few minutes and put to the side to play better games and there is no way in hell this will be anywhere as near the level of mario.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - July 22, 2011 12:56 a.m.

    I played Angry Birds for the first time a few weeks ago, and I honestly could not figure out why it was so popular. There are a lot more games out there just like it, and they are much funner.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - July 22, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    Angry Birds? Never heard of it.
  • NightAce84 - July 22, 2011 2 a.m.

    Honestly, Rovio is pissing me off. They made one decent time-waster game and think they are the second coming of Christ.
  • PimplesInYourAsstista - July 22, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    'cause a knock-off Flash game is equivalent to making a new Mario-level franchise. I give it 5 years before this fad dies off.
  • Triscuitable - July 22, 2011 5:09 a.m.

    They didn't even make the idea. "Crush the Castle" did it first, and much prettier. With a LEVEL EDITOR. Plus, China? Good luck. I forsee ten [Anger Synonym][Bird Synonym] ripoffs within ten minutes of it's source code going live.
  • NanoElite666 - July 22, 2011 5:09 a.m.

    “Game makers buy into their own bullshit. You think you can make hit after hit..." That's because, surprise surprise, there ARE devs in this industry that are capable of making hit after hit. Just because you haven't figured out how to do it yet doesn't mean there aren't companies who have been in this business far longer than you who know EXACTLY what they're doing and have been able to turn out multiple consecutive hit releases.
  • meh - July 22, 2011 6:33 a.m.

    "Game makers buy into their own bullshit." WTF does that even mean??? He thinks that he's making an empire out of angry birds, and then goes and compares it to things like Mario and Mickey Mouse. Here's the thing, they can't be compared. Angry Birds is a FAD, while both Mario and Mickey Mouse were pioneers in their mediums. This guy seriously needs to get his head out of his ass.
  • Radimir - July 22, 2011 7:39 a.m.

    "Game makers buy into their own bullshit. You think you can make hit after hit. We know how hard it is to do that." You know what they say about glass houses...
  • therawski - July 22, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    It must have took them a really long time to censor if they are only getting it now.
  • SecretGingerWizard - July 22, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    "Rovio released 51 games before finding success with Angry Birds" Looks like they went with "Lets throw shit at the wall until something sticks"

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