Angry Birds is not a fad, dev says

Rovio exec Peter Vesterbacka says focus on branding outside of gaming has allowed the franchise to explode in prominence and popularity.

Angry Birds won't fade away anytime soon, thanks in part to creator Rovio employing a Disney-like strategy for the preservation and acceleration of the global brand, Rovio chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka said during the Pocket Gamer Connects conference in London this week.

As reported by Mobile Entertainment, Vesterbacka said the game has now seen 2 billion downloads and has 200 million people (the size of Twitter) playing every month, though he acknowledged that "download figures tell you nothing about engagement."

Vesterbacka also took a tongue-in-cheek jab at competitor Candy Crush, saying the game's half-a-billion downloads is a "good start."

Recalling the origins of Angry Birds, Vesterbacka said Rovio created 51 games before arriving at the bird-flinging strategy title that he says is known to 90 percent of Americans today. Part of the reason the game has been so successful comes down to the branding efforts Rovio has undertaken for Angry Birds, he said.

"If you're serious about games you need to be serious about marketing and branding," he said. "We're not building Angry birds for a hundred days but for a hundred years."

Angry Birds began as a simple video game but has blossomed into a worldwide media behemoth that spans TV, physical products, and a movie in 2016. Vesterbacka said Rovio joins esteemed entertainment companies like Nintendo and Disney in this regard.

"Mario is a great role model for anyone in games, it's been built for almost 30 years now. Hello Kitty is 40 this year and Mickey Mouse was launched in 1928 as a black and white cartoon and that company is now building theme parks based on the character on every continent," he said. "We launched an iPhone game in 2009 and now 45 percent of our business comes from physical products, including drink--we're giving Coke a run for their money."

"Our friends at Disney are still a bit ahead but our trajectory looks good," he added. "We're just getting started."

The most recent entry in the Angry Birds series is Angry Birds Go!, a Mario Kart-style racing game available now for iOS and Android devices.

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Discussion

101 comments
lawlzitsjen
lawlzitsjen

Angry birds is definitely a fad… a stressful fad that is.

Your main goal is to launch a few birds to knock over buildings and kill all of the "evil" piggies inside of the structure… it may be a fad but it is sure addicting!

http://gameru.com/game/Angry-Birds-Epic

soulless4now
soulless4now

It is a fad. They're just in denial. All good things must come to end eventually. Square Enix and Nintendo would agree. Trollolol

Hurvl
Hurvl

I've seen there is a Angry Birds candy in a store where I live, but I haven't tried it because it looks too much like many other types of candy, something that the Angry Birds video games surely cannot be accused for. Oh no, especially not their latest game Angry Birds Go!

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Next some company is going to turn fucking Qwop or Clop into a mega-seller franchise. Mark my words.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Yes, yes it is. It's not a game so it has to be something. Considering this "game" literally is a rip off of 950 flash games that have existed on the internet for years - before smart phones and tablets ever came out - this shit is not only a fad but also ridiculous.


They try to charge $60 for AB Star Wars on the new consoles. Are you shitting me? Are people paying for that?

franzito
franzito

I have this in my cell phone. I less irritating than Candy Crush I guess.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I am sorry but this is a fad.  The popularity of Angry Birds will abruptly end and we will never hear of it again.  No way this franchises still exist in 10 years.

tightwad34
tightwad34

No shit. Fads don't last this long. Although AB will go away someday. Nothing lives forever.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

They did a fantastic job with marketing. I've seen this idea done a billion times in flash games and yet here comes this mobile game that somehow leads to toy collections and all this other stuff. That being said, innovation eventually needs to kick in or the marketing will implode on itself. If they can't think of new exciting gameplay, that's it for Angry Birds.

DrKill09
DrKill09

No, it's a ripoff of Crush the Castle, AND a fad.  Look at the Wii.  All the casuals loved it, and then moved on to their Gimmick Phones.

Fallen_Lord
Fallen_Lord

Anytime that you need to spend your money on an expensive license like Star Wars to garner more interest for your one trick pony of a game that is a sure indicator that your 15 minutes are almost up.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

Not gonna lie...I like dem angry birds toons, make me all nostalgic.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Oh fad.. such a fad thing to say..

straightcur
straightcur

Not just a fad, but a fad that is no longer relevant

Savior4Life
Savior4Life

Rovio owes me a new Comp after spitting soda all over mine as I read the title of this article and LOL'd.

Mabrry
Mabrry

Angry Birds isn't even that great... 

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

My dad playing this game, he was fallen into the dark side.

holtrocks
holtrocks

Joke of the day goes to............

legatelanissius
legatelanissius

Angry Birds is totally a fad, give it a few years and something bigger and better will come along, kind of like how Candy Crush is boosting the popularity of free-to-play games, something will make people overlook what is overall a frustrating and menial experience

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

angry birds is and always will be cheap throw away entertainment while killing a few minutes at the bus stop. nothing more, nothing less. these pr bozos are giving this franchise more credit than it deserves. popular, yes. meaningful, hell no.

scgarfield
scgarfield

Yes it is..... a fad where nobodys gonna pay $49.99 for angry birds starwars on PS4.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Well I can't fault them for thinking big and it's kind of hard to flat out say they won't be able to get somewhere towards where they're heading to be honest, especially with the kind of ambitious attitude they have and the fortunate position they are already in.

I've made 3 main games thus far, all of which are major flops, so I guess I've got a lot more to make before I find some measure of success...

JustBeYourself
JustBeYourself

Everything is a fad if you adjust the timeline long enough. You can't just rely on one game, you've made your dough now go forth and make something else just as good.

hadlee73
hadlee73

I don't actually know anyone who plays Angry Birds anymore.

Someguy1212
Someguy1212

I haven't seen this much product placement since Pokémon back in the late 90s.

GreenvaleXYZ
GreenvaleXYZ

If Angry Birds remains popular for 100 years, won't you be a little disappointed in humanity?

And money doesn't motivate people to make good games, it motivates them to make games they think a lot of people will buy.  Screw you, sellout.

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

Somehow I doubt 20 years from now people are going to be talking about Angry Birds like they talk about Mario and Zelda today given when they first started.

Let's be honest... Angry Birds is a fun time waster on my phone. It's also a sorry excuse to create really hard puzzles that entice people to spend $10 on a couple useless items that makes solving the puzzle easier. You might be more than a fad but you're not a legendary game. That is like calling revenge of the nerds best picture in the 1980s.

Fallen_Lord
Fallen_Lord

There is a difference between faith in your brand and outright delusions of grandeur. Just because you have flooded the market with cheap merchandise does not make you a success that will last 100 years.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Angry Birds is a joke.  When their movie flops they'll see just how little their "fans" really care about it.

91210user
91210user

I don't mind Angry Birds and I don't think it's fad! I actually enjoy where it's going and how it started.  I never saw the Disney like marketing strategy thou! I think that's an over-statement!


I always wanted a Sonic vs Angry Bird crossover thou!

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

I would consider something more than a fad if it last longer then it takes me to take a shit. and it also has to be something id want to play when I'm not taking a shit.

Tekcor
Tekcor

"It's not a fad because we won't let it be a fad! Our goal is to start cranking out Angry Birds games on a monthly basis. We'll get more licensing deals than Lego! Just imagine, Angry Birds My Little Pony, Angry Birds Fantastic Four, and Angry Birds IHOP! We will not be ignored! We will not go away until the moon looks like the damn red bird!" - Peter Vesterbacka

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Sounds like self delusion. Their products sell to kids, and the games to bored adults. As soon as the adults find some other time killer, and the kids grow up, this fad will end. It has no lasting appeal, very shallow. I know why Pokemon and Nintendo games produce long time fans, and this has none of their lasting appeal.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@GrenadehDon't say that, you'll make his birds angry, lol.

ERRMAHGERD
ERRMAHGERD

@nurnberg obviously. It was cool for a moment. Then they went too far. Now it's just a matter of time

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@DrKill09 Even that game was a rip off of flash games that were on the net for years before that.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@SIDEFX1  "Oh fad.. such a fad thing to say.." is such a hipster thing to say.


Hipster, in and of itself, being another fad.  @_o

Fallen_Lord
Fallen_Lord

@Someguy1212 

Have you noticed the ridiculous amount of Duck Dynasty crap overloading store shelves recently?

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

The fact that they're even doing the movie makes me sick