Rovio Mobile CEO: Piracy Is Not A Bad Thing, It Allowed Angry Birds To Grow Its Fanbase
The creator of Angry Birds is taking a different approach when dealing with pirates as he’s not looking to legally pursue those who pirate Rovio content. CEO Mikael Hed said that piracy is “good” if it doesn’t go over some boundaries, and it has already helped Angry Birds to get more fans since the game has been first released on the market.
Rovio Mobile’s policy is to have a great relationship with players who will eventually become customers, and then fans. Mr. Hed said that Angry Birds has reached a level of popularity that they weren’t expecting when the game was launched.
He believes that there are issues with Angry Birds piracy especially in Asia, however, it would be hard to file suit against all the people who pirated the game. The bigger problem is with the people who fake Angry Birds toys and other consumer products because “they are ripping off the fans.” Mikael Hed said that when Rovio’s brand will be threatened by the folks selling unlicensed merchandise, the company will file suit against the so-called pirates.
The Rovio Mobile CEO said that he would like to work with music companies at Angry Birds deals, but for the moment there are no plans in that direction. He advised the music giants to take other measures against pirates because it’s clear that they’ve made a lot of mistakes.
Mr. Hed added that Rovio learnt a lot from the music industry’s mistakes, and that piracy brings more fans to the Angry Birds brand. He explained that it’s not always about getting more money, it’s about bringing more attention towards Angry Birds.
The music industry must begin treating the customers as fans, rather than as simple users, said Hed. A bigger fanbase will always bring more money to a franchise, and nobody can afford to “lose a fanbase.” It’s not wrong to think like this because this allowed Angry Birds to compete with TV shows because the fans spend a lot of time playing the game, added Rovio’s CEO.
Angry Birds has become a “channel” which will help Rovio sell more content to the fans. This opens a door to several potential relationships with artists all over the world, just like other gaming companies have done in the past.
A recent example is Zynga, a developer which makes social games like FarmVille or CityVille, which has signed agreements with Lady Gaga, and this allowed its games to gain more popularity.
Hed admitted that there have been several talks between music labels and Rovio to see if there is a viable way to bring push music content through Angry Birds.
Maybe Rovio Mobile will allow the users to buy and listen to music while playing an Angry Birds level though the “fans” can already listen to their music library. Well, we are very curious to find out what Hed has in mind, and we believe that we’re going to hear more details before the end of the year.