Angry Birds head believes piracy leads to more business

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Mikael Hed, head of Rovio, the company behind casual gaming phenomenon Angry Birds isn’t too worried about piracy. In fact, he believes it’s a great way of getting new fans – who might be more inclined to pay the next time round.

“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy,” he explained at the Midem conference in Cannes, as reported by Guardian. “We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have.

“If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”

He believes that going after the people who pirate their games is a futile exercise – and that it’s better to win fans over than engage in needless litigation – except in cases where counterfeit goods rip-off unsuspecting paying customers.

“Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day,” he said.

It’s a sentiment that’s shared by a lot of smaller and independent developers – like Minecraft’s Notch – but I have a feeling if their product cost millions of dollars to make and sold for more than the current 99c asking price and Rovio wasn’t currently swimming in money,  his tune might be a tad different.

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Last Updated: January 31, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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