updated 12:25 pm EDT, Wed April 27, 2011
Rovio allegedly third-most copied brand in China
The iPhone "changed everything" for mobile app developers, according to the head of Angry Birds developer Rovio Mobile. "Apple created the distribution for us that we didn't have before. All of a sudden, great games mattered," said Peter Vesterbacka at Wednesday's Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. "We are seeing smartphone growth explode, and we are riding that wave."
The Angry Birds games are said to be bringing some success for Rovio on Android devices, but fragmentation of the OS has been causing problems. "The carriers [are] messing with the experience again," Vesterbacka explained. He described Android as "open, but not really open," since the platform is "very Google-centric."
Overall the company has done extremely well with its latest title, the movie tie-in Angry Birds Rio, which Vesterbacka claims is the fastest downloaded game ever with 10 million downloads in 10 days. Angry Birds is allegedly the third-most copied brand in China, following Disney and Hello Kitty. Rovio is hoping to hit 100 million Chinese downloads in 2011 and become a "leading entertainment brand" in the country in 2012, with the help of a local branch and special Chinese versions of Angry Birds.
Vesterbacka mentions that about 40 percent of Angry Birds buyers have downloaded the Mighty Eagle in-app purchase, versus a rate of about 2 to 3 percent for other companies' in-app offerings. Rovio is said to be pushing for a 50 percent conversion rate in the future.