In a shocking turn of events, the number one most popular app of all time, Angry Birds, has officially sold 2 billion copies. Which normally wouldn’t be considered surprising news for such a successful game. However, Rovio’s Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vestabacka told Mobile Entertainment about the milestone and how they plan to expand their business… By taking on the juggernauts of the soft drink industry.
“We started as a mobile games company ten years ago and created 51 games before Angry Birds— it’s not easy to stand out and say something like, ‘I’m going to take on Coke and make a soft drink company.’ Nobody in their right mind would.”
Vestabacka also said that “45 percent of our business comes from physical products, including drinks.” In the US, nine out of Ten people know what Angry Birds is, and 93 percent of China’s population recognises the brand. Vestabacka
“Download figures tell you nothing about engagement, but we still have 200 million people playing Angry Birds every month, the size of the Twitter audience.What started as a little game is a major brand and franchise. Our friends at Disney are still a bit ahead but our trajectory looks good. We’re just getting started.”
Vestabacka has a good head on his shoulders, noting that becoming a brand is really important for a successful franchise:
“Becoming a brand is very, very important. For every Angry Birds there are many not-so successful games. If you’re serious about games you need to be serious about marketing and branding.
He also took a jab at King’s “Candy Crush Saga” saying that half a billion installs is “a good start”. I guess if there’s anyone in the position to say something like that, it’s him.
I would usually be pretty disheartened by a company moving into merchandising like some giant corporate behemoth, but it’s a natural progression for any successful franchise. Now you can’t go past a shop or claw machine without seeing Angry Birds in some way or another. Now you’ll see Angry Birds brand soft drink right next to Coca-Cola. Is that a good thing? I’m not really sure. Perhaps the more ways videogames permeate real life, perhaps they will become more commonplace and accepted by the mass majority as legitimate big business.
Last Updated: January 24, 2014