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Angry Birds dev "will not use Chillingo again"

Rovio confirms iPhone hit not part of EA buyout, and disputes need for publishers

Rovio Mobile, developer of Angry Birds, has clarified that new EA acquisition Chillingo holds no rights to the iPhone hit.

EA confirmed it was to buy Chillingo last night, with unconfirmed estimates putting the deal at $20 million.

Despite confusion amongst some media outlets, the takeover does not include any Rovio properties. Chillingo's role in Angry Birds was purely to provide publishing and distribution support for the catapult game's initial iPhone and iPad releases.

Rovio self-published the recent Android and Nokia ports of the 6.5 million-selling game, and claims it sees no need for third-party assistance in future.

"We will not use Chillingo again," Rovio boss Peter Vesterbacka told TechCrunch."You don't need publishers," he argued.

The company also spent last night correcting media reports that it was part of the EA deal via Twitter.

Rovio is self-publishing iOS follow-up Angry Birds Hallowe'en, which launched yesterday.

EA's interest in Chillingo appears to focus on its knack for spotting promising iOS games (such as Angry Birds and current App Store chart-topper Cut The Rope), and the Crystal mobile multiplayer and community tech featured in all its titles.

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Latest comments (11)

Self-publishing is the way forward, we have no regrets with Plunderland.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game6 years ago
@Maxwell, nice plug;)
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Adrian Cummings Founder and Owner, Mobile Amusements6 years ago
"You don't need publishers"... I've been saying that for the last couple of years too :)
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Show all comments (11)
Dave Rack Co-Founder/Director, Fireproof Studios Ltd.6 years ago
Look how well Hello Games did with Joe Danger on PSN...
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
I think as we progress into the digital age publishers will become less important, although the giants like EA, Capcom and Ubisoft will always have a place. However, the advantage indies will have is that to gain an edge in the market they'll have to innovate in their output, and in doing so perhaps they'll end up with products like Minecraft, Joe Danger, Peggle, Angry Birds, and so on.
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Jeffrey Bacon Director of Mobile Strategy, bitHeads Inc6 years ago
There will always be a place for publishers in the digital market. Huge success stories like Angry Birds mask the semi-successful games that only made money because of exposure via a publisher's catalog -- and those far out weigh the massive success stories. Just because there's a few hit games a year that make people rich, doesn't mean there aren't many more people making great money off smaller, regular game releases that don't hit 6 million downloads and get visibility on the top charts lists, but are promoted via cross-marketing in a publisher's catalog of games. Both ways can work, but it's foolish to think that the headline-grabbing games are the norm.
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Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna6 years ago
Selfpublishing can be great for succesful devs. However, one size never fits all so publishers won't go away anytime soon.
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Nathan Cocks Freelance Journalist 6 years ago
Spot on Jeffrey. It's easy to lose sight of this fact when all we do is talk about the popular independent media darlings.

And lets not forget that some of Looking Glass Studio's closure can be attributed to poor sales on Terra Nova which hurt doubly when you factor in its self-published nature. Just as with all things self-publishing can work but its no sure fire bet.

There is room for both forms of publishing but I think carte blanche statements like "publishers aren't needed" is a little naive.
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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 6 years ago
Much as I fully support Indies in every way possible. Obviously.

It seems a little disingenuous to say you "don't need publishers" when they were instrumental in getting you the kind of exposure that enabled you to gain a market presence.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephen Northcott on 22nd October 2010 9:28am

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Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.6 years ago
I agree that a publisher can help with making your game more visible, but doesn't that mean you need a marketer rather than a publisher in the traditional sense?
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts6 years ago
@Sam - A publishing deal usually includes marketing too. The studio makes the game, the publisher provides all manner of services such as upfront cash to fund the studio during development, QA, LT, marketing, manufacture and distribution.

A distribution deal is usually just that, but may also include marketing.

It's easy to say "you don't need a publisher" when you're flush from a massive hit like Angry Birds, but if it wasn't for the wallets of publishers, many games would never see the light of day and many studios would be closed down as they run out of operating capital before they can ship. Publishers are effectively the venture capitalists of the games industry - it is they who provide the money (and take a big risk doing so sometimes) so both sides have a vested interest in a game succeeding.

Some folks argue they got gouged by their publisher, but quite frankly that's their fault for not negotiating a better deal, and again the point stands that without a publisher would their game ever have seen the light of day?
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