Brand power: Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka on why great games aren't enough

Don't get left behind

Brand power: Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka on why great games aren't enough

“Rovio is not a games company,” began Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka, speaking to the Pocket Gamer Connects crowd at this year's conference in Helsinki.

“Sure, we care about our fans and our brands, but Rovio is all about providing Angry Birds  brand experiences. We are building Angry Birds for 100 years, not 100 days.”

That long term plan doesn't mean Rovio is neglecting other projects. However, it does mean that Angry Birds will remain the centre of attention for the foreseeable future.

It's hard to find fault with Rovio's thinking though, largely because its Angry Birds  assault allows it to access an audience far beyond the reach of other game developers.

It must be love

“Our stories started with the characters, and once everyone had fallen in love with them we had to keep on building games around those birds,” explained Vesterbacka.

Angry Birds has become a global brand

“We use the same characters, but put them in games with totally different gameplay. We can introduce new genres to people who have never played games before. People always say 'I don't play games, I only play Angry Birds'.

“We bring the games to people who aren't gamers. A lot of people have been introduced to gaming through Angry Birds.

“We have tens of thousands of Angry Birds products out there, and I travel a fair bit, but wherever I go, even if its in the middle of nowhere, I can see the power of the brand.

Brands are everything

Mobile success is no longer about building great games. On their own, games just aren't enough. The power now lies with those firms that can develop a killer brand.

“Our industry is becoming all about the brand, and mobile is now the centre of the entertainment industry, and not just for games,” finished Vesterbacka.

“Everyone knows that mobile screens are the screens that dominate the industry. It's not console, it's not PC: mobile is the center of gravity.

“We are a triple E company. We focus on entertainment, education, and being entrepreneurs. There was Mickey Mouse, then there was Mario, now there's Angry Birds.”

What do you call someone who has an unhealthy obsession with video games and Sean Bean? That'd be a 'Chris Kerr'. Chris is one of those deluded souls who actually believes that one day Sean Bean will survive a movie. Poor guy.