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Peter Vesterbacka on why Rovio is looking to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US

Peter Vesterbacka on why Rovio is looking to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US
While the headline news is all about Rovio's soon-to-be released Angry Birds Space, its significance for the Finnish company is much more than it being a new Angry Birds game.

Talking to PocketGamer.biz during Mobile World Congress, CMO Peter Vesterbacka pointed out the wider opportunity the release provides.

"We have built up a lot of experience in terms of merchandising and promotion," he said. "We'll be using all of it from day one with Angry Birds Space."

Branded goods

As well as the use of reworked NASA archive footage to promote the game, this will see more products from the many licensing deals the company has already signed in terms of plush toys, t-shirts and apparel, electronic accessories, board games, baby clothes and the like.

Yet Rovio is aware of the need not to swamp the market. Indeed, social responsibility is a surprisingly large element in how it's now setting up those deals.

"I spoke to a lot of companies at the International Toy Fair [in New York] who want to do deals with us. One of my questions to them is 'Do you do any manufacturing in the US?'" Vesterbacka explained.

"We want to bring jobs back to the US."

Think global, act local

As well as playing well with local sentiment, this attitude underlines Rovio's desire to keep Angry Birds a premium brand.

Infamously known as the 'most pirated brand' in China, the company can't compete with the flood of cheap counterfeint products in the market.

In this way, however, it can keep Angry Birds' as a high end entertainment brand - playing off higher prices with high quality items and a positive social message.

The great bazaar

Bringing all of Rovio's experience in this area together is the news the company is looking to invest heavily in its own retail presence in China.

Talking to Reuters, Vesterbacka revealed it would be going fast and big.

"We are just about to roll out our retail presence there; we are looking to get to a hundred stores very very quickly," he said.

"And I think there is a lot of potential to grow the numbers even further. We see huge potential in all of Asia."

[source: Reuters]
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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