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Angry Birds makers no longer view themselves "as a game company"

With millions in plush toys sold, Rovio has ambitions to be the next Disney

Angry Birds is one of the most popular mobile games on the planet, having seen over 700 million downloads worldwide. However, the launch of Angry Birds Space (already the number one game, dethroning Draw Something) shows how much Rovio has expanded their business, with cross promotional efforts from NASA and National Geographic, in addition to Walmart carrying branded items at thousands of their stores.

"It's not just the launch of a game, it's the launch of a franchise," said Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka at IGNITION West. "It's bigger than most movie launches in Hollywood. Rovio is one of the first brands to launch from the digital to the physical world."

Vesterbacka compared Rovio's business to that of Disney's, and implied that their ultimate goal is to be a multi-media company like the House of Mouse, not just a gaming company. "Zynga is a game company. We stopped looking at ourselves as a game company,"  Vesterbacka said. "We sold 25 million plush toys last year. For us, it's about making Angry Birds available everywhere."

"You go shopping in China, you see Angry Birds everywhere," he added. "We are the most copied brand in China, which means we are the most loved brand. We aren't advocating piracy... but we have millions of Chinese people who love Angry Birds."

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David Radd avatar
David Radd: David Radd has worked as a gaming journalist since 2004 at sites such as GamerFeed, Gigex and GameDaily Biz. He was previously senior editor at IndustryGamers.
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