Angry Birds dev says piracy 'may not be a bad thing'

Rovio CEO Mikael Hed suggests games could learn from "the rather terrible ways" the music industry tried to fight piracy.

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While most publishers are pondering ways to stamp out piracy, the creators of Angry Birds are considering whether the theft of their games and intellectual property is all that bad to begin with. According to The Guardian, Rovio CEO Mikael Hed told an audience at the Midem conference in Cannes yesterday that despite the proliferation of bogus Angry Birds merchandise and pirated apps, the developer believes it might ultimately benefit from the illicit activities.

The studio behind Angry Birds isn't crying fowl over piracy.
The studio behind Angry Birds isn't crying fowl over piracy.

"Piracy may not be a bad thing," Hed said. "It can get us more business at the end of the day."

Hed noted that the pirated materials may help attract more fans to the franchise, who could then spend money on legitimate Angry Birds offerings. He also said that the company didn't want to repeat the mistakes of other industries.

"We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy," Hed said, adding, "We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans."

Piracy has been a hot-button topic in the gaming industry recently with the fight over legislation like SOPA and PIPA. Those bills stalled after popular outcry, but the issue is one US lawmakers have pledged to return to sooner rather than later.

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