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Rovio: Casual gamers don't read reviews

Teemu Huuhtanen says early coverage is important, but dwarfed by word of mouth

Rovio's vice president of M&A, Teemu Huuhtanen, has said that, although early reviews can help to seed a casual game in the minds of influencers, casual gamers really don't use reviews when choosing what to buy.

Speaking specifically of Angry Birds itself, Huuhtanen said that all exposure was "vital", but that any benefit of getting good reviews from blogs and specialist press was quickly eclipsed by the word of mouth marketing which has seen the brand become such a phenomenal success.

"We try to monitor social media, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and even reviews," Huuhtanen told the audience at Gamelab in Barcelona today.

"I think they are all important, especially in the beginning. But I don't think many casual gamers actually read any blogs or reviews - they hear about games from their friends, mostly. But to gain momentum in the beginning, it definitely helps to get good reviews."

The executive's thoughts echo those of Torsten Reil of Natural Motion, who today said that mobile marketing "doesn't work at all".

Huuhtanen was speaking at the event on the subject of brand management and the transition from game to brand, something which Rovio has embodied with Angry Birds plushies, books and a forthcoming animated TV series.

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Dan Pearson