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Rovio's Vesterbacka dismisses 'games company' tag, claims studio building 'next gen entertainment franchise'

Rovio's Vesterbacka dismisses 'games company' tag, claims studio building 'next gen entertainment franchise'
Rovio has mastered the unenviable ability to split audiences right down the middle.

While some laud Angry Birds' unstoppable assault on the masses – 300 million downloads and counting – others have reacted vocally to the developer's efforts to expand the franchise beyond games, openly mocking comparisons to Disney and the firm's self-valuation 'north of PopCap's $1 billion'.

It's unlikely the latest comments by Peter Vesterbacka will change such attitudes, with the studio head dismissing claims Rovio is a games company.

In his view, Rovio's cause is much greater than that.

Franchise fodder

"What we are building is a next-generation entertainment franchise," Vesterbacka told attendees at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference.

"I think we're the fastest growing consumer franchise ever. We're working on new Angry Birds experiences and we'll expose a bit more of the Angry Birds story."

Rovio has been entirely open in its attempts to make a mark with the Angry Birds franchise.

The firm's deal with baby products specialist SwaddleDesigns is just the latest in a line of merchandising partnerships, coming after a similar licensing agreement with speaker manufacturer Gear4.

Brand building

Cookbooks are also on the way, with Vesterbacka confirming a total of three titles will launch before the end of the year

Of most note, however, is the studio's plan to move into movies.

Rovio recently acquired animation studio Kombo and took on board former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel, both moves designed to aid the development of an Angry Birds film.

"If you are strong brand, if you have a strong following of fans you can do anything," Vesterbacka concluded.

The studio will be hoping its active userbase of 120 million users are ready to buy into such ideals.

[source: GamesIndustry.biz]
Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. As PocketGamer.biz editor, he has the pleasure of monitoring the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.

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