AUSTIN , USA – Angry Birds is such a household name nowadays, we almost forget the time when birds were happy. The popular game has achieved the 100 million download mark at record breaking pace. Meanwhile, Nokia has a huge install base of 200 million Symbian owners, with 150 million more expected. The two mobile giants sat down today during a SXSW panel to discuss Angry Birds and mobile gaming with EVP Tero Ojanperä from Nokia and Rovio’s CEO Peter Vesterbacka. Here are the highlights…
By the Numbers
Angry Birds has become a cultural phenomenon. It has 40 million active users and is the third most popular game on Facebook. 200 million minutes a day are spent playing Angry Birds worldwide. It’s the fastest game to ever hit 100 million downloads – and they have a goal of one billion. Peter Vesterbacka isn’t kidding when he said, “Everyone is playing Angry Birds.”
The Third Platform
40% of Ovi Store downloads are games. Rovio has released 51 previous games before Angry Birds. Their hit, “Bounce”, is actually found on twice as many handsets thanks to Symbian’s massive install base.
And now there are three relevant platforms for gamers. “This is good news for developers”, says Tero Ojanperä. “The Bigger platforms will get bigger.”
Some Bold Predictions
No bold predictions on the “correct” sales model to use as of yet. Freemium, premium, or other? It’s still undecided says the Rovio CEO.
Peter made a bold predication that “Tablets are killing consoles. Four generations of new tablets come before a new console, if one EVER comes.” During the only disagreement in the panel, Tero thinks consoles will remain under out TV’s. For me personally – I’d like to see my tablet working directly with my console for some innovative gaming.
“Live action Angry Birds should be an Olympic sport” says Peter. Well hey, if figure skating is, then why not?
Coming to Angry Birds soon
Peter reiterated the fact that there will be no “Angry Birds 2”. “That would be lame”, he says. Laughter erupts as he continues, “That’s the Hollywood model, and we’re from Finland, we don’t do that.”
Instead they’ll look into new technologies into the game. A lot more people have played Angry Birds than checked in to Foursquare, so location aspects could come, but he assures everyone that “we don’t want to create experiences just for the sake of technology.”
Also look out for “Angry Birds social gaming 2.0” coming in May along with “build your own level” capabilities in the future.
T-Shirts and Hoodies
Peter, along with many members in today’s audience, was dressed in Angry Birds gear – Peter specifically wearing a Red Bird hoodie. Tero was sporting a black t-shirt with white lettering that read, “KEEP MOBILE WEIRD” (after the popular saying, “Keep Austin Weird”). He said there’s only two of those t-shirts in existence, as he gave the second shirt to Peter. Tero then vowed to create another shirt saying “Keep Angry Birds Weird”. Neither men looked like leaders of big companies in their geek gear – but SXSW has unwritten rule of NO TIES ALLOWED. Unless of course, hipsters start wearing these next year.
KEEP CONVERSATIONS WEIRD!