Rovio Boss: Nintendo Should Be Worried

In a great feature over at MCV, Peter Vesterbacka - boss of Angry Birds creator Rovio - struck back at negative comments made by various Nintendo executives stating, "if I was trying to sell a $49 pieces of plastic to people then yes, I’d be worried too."

Satoru Iwata had directed veiled negative comments towards the proliferation of cheap iOS Games, whereas Reggie Fils-Aime was more direct, claiming that by selling its content so cheaply Rovio was at risk of derailing the video games market.

"Angry Birds is a great experience, claimed Reggie, "but that is one compared to thousands of other pieces of content that for one and two dollars actually create a mentality for the consumer that a piece of gaming content should only be two dollars. I think that some of these games are overpriced for one or two dollars."

But Peter Vesterbacka sees these comments as a sign of Rovio's success in the marketplace.

“It’s interesting to see people like Nintendo saying smartphones are destroying the games industry... But I think it’s a good sign that people are concerned – because from my point of view we’re doing something right," said Vesterbacka.

“Look, the console market is important, but it’s also… It’s not dying, but not the fastest growing platform out there. So we don’t see it the way others do. A lot of people in the games industry, they think the ‘real’ games are on consoles. You’re only a ‘real’ games company if you do a big budget game. But we don’t have that inferiority complex.”

The success of Angry Birds [MCV]


    why is it that something that a company that is so far a one trick pony taken with such gutso.

    they made one game and then made multiple version's of it there like the Activision of iphone games.

    if this sort of stuff was coming from developers like half brick and chillingo, then i'd take the words with a little more ethusiasm

    "I think that some of these games are overpriced for one or two dollars.”

    Sure they are Reggie but at the same time not everygame on your system deserves max RRP either

      Because sometimes the one trick pony has far more influence than it should. Just look at the escapists march madness tournament. So far Mojang has beaten both nintendo and epic.

      And yeah, nintendo is plenty guilty of overcharging for the vast majority of their games. Most of the crap on the system has even less content then half of the iOS games.

    I think that's a fair way of looking at it, and I like his attitude about their 'inferiority complex'. I don't even have an iPhone and don't play any of these, but appreciate them for what they are, and appreciate console games for what they are too. If Nintendo are confident in the games they are releasing they shouldn't be worried about price differences, people will buy them if they are worth it.

    If iOS games can help change things so that new console games are not at a fixed price point any more, that's just great. Not likely, but a nice thought.

    Other than that, there really just isn't much going on here aside from a few people puffing up their chests and trying to look more impressive than their opponents.

    Yeah, no kidding about not having an inferiority complex - the more I hear from this guy the more I feel like he's got a superiority complex (he's arrogant at the very least)

    I don't like paying $100+ for games, but all Rovio've done is make one (relatively) simple game and released it 3-4 times with a different background - now you've got people paying multiple times for what is essentially the same thing: a 5-minute timewaster. It seems excessive and I don't get it - probably more due to the fact that I find phone-based touchscreens underwhelming interface for games.

    And you could imagine that if Nintendo - or any popular console/PC dev - opened up a mobile gaming division they'd almost certainly be a helluva lot more successful.

    By all means be happy with your success, but you really haven't proven anything yet Mr. Vesterbacka - you're a big fish in the small pond of mobile gaming.

      Give rovio a break. They have big plans for plenty of new IPs as soon as they finish Angry Birds 46: Halloween Celebrity Block Party Edition v5.67

        yup it's called thieving pigs.

        the pigs want there eggs back and need to wipe out the birds to get em

    This dude at Rovio is now Lord Douche of the games industry. And that's a serious ask...

    With these remarks he can be sure he won't get a sale from my like... ever...

    I dot think anyone realizes that angry birds is a grab n go game, it's a game I play when I can't find my ds and I'm on the go. Not once have I sat down at home and said, I'm going to play my iPhone now, it's just not the same as playing a game where years of development have gone into it and where there is so much depth. When I get my 3DS tomorrow it will replace my iPhone gaming pretty much everywhere except meetings etc where my gaming needs to be discrete. I can play Super Mario Galaxy for hours straight, when Rovio achieves that for 2 dollars, then they can claim they're all that and a bag of chips, for now their the 'fastest' growing platform because smart phones are new and consoles are well established.

    I don't think there's anything for Nintendo or any of the other major studios to be worried about, as long as there is some way to differentiate between 'cheap diversion' and a big budget game in the consumer's mind. Much in the same way I know what the difference is between a novel and a magazine, or fast-food and a restaurant dinner, it's important to have different expectations of price and what you get for the price.

    I'd say the greater danger to bigger developers would be in a AAA game being released at a lower price point to try and compete with the more disposable gaming experiences.

    I still don't get it. Angry Birds is neither a new concept or innovative. It's been done before, many a time, for years. I guess the only thing this Rovio boss can talk himself up for is good marketing. Which is the only reason the game has done so well. Once he got the game in pop culture, it wasn't hard to build a following of sheep who go with whatever is "hip" at the time.

      You do realise you have just described almost every game developed by Nintendo in the past 20 years.

      Look at the flagship Nintendo games like Zelda and Mario. Those games are neither new nor innovative.

      Oh, and just because a lot of people like something doesn't make them mindless sheep. Stop being a hipster.

        Not many games are new or innovative these days, Simpsons did it. That wasn't my point at all. Stop looking at small words and read it as a whole. It's all about marketing. Sure big titles get a bit of marketing, but as a whole, gaming is still "something nerds with no life do behind closed doors"

          Point taken.

          I think that Nintendo are just afraid that the market they once dominated is slipping away from them at an alarming rate.

          It's cheap that a giant company like Nintendo feels the need to throw mud like this.

            Yeah Nintendo being one of the oldest and respected companies in the industry shouldn't be concerned at all or even comment.
            Personally, I'm not a fan of any iOS game (I just find it awkward to game on my phone) but I still think there is room for both sort of platform gamers, console and iOS/smartphone style.
            But also, this Rovio boss does come across as a dick.

        I sort of agree, but I think you give bad examples - a lot of Mario and Zelda games are similar because they're in the same (respective) universe, but:

        A Link to the Past is not the same as Ocarina of Time or Windwaker or Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword, just like Super Mario Bros which is not the same as SM64 or Galaxy - the titles have evolved for new hardware and while not all of them were innovative, they definitely introduced new mechanics.

        But yes, everyone recycles things - especially if they're successful.

        Give Rovio time though and (one would hope) they come up with something new and can be a bit more modest about any success.

    They sell. A re-painted flash game that people had been playing well before they came along.
    For five bucks a pop.

    iOS games = free games found online that you for some reason pay money for.

    I fail to see the point of them.

    Rovio loves their Ad money from the free versions of Angry birds

    I just got an Android phone so I got Angry Birds for free and you know what - I wouldn't pay any more for it! It's pretty basic. Give me a DS game anyday.

    Nintendo's comments are mostly about business. And I agree with them. I have an iPhone and had an iPad. You know how much I've spent on games for them? About $7. Know how much more I plan on spending? Maybe $10? So if this is what developers want GO FOR IT! BTW, I usually spend about $500 per year on Nintendo/Capcom/Square-Enix games. They are usually worth the money... on average I'll get 40 hours worth of entertainment from them. Some will give me hundreds of hours of entertainment.

    If developers want to debase the market, they do so at their own peril, and I will have no sympathy for them.

    Only time will tell how this goes... it truly will hurt Nintendo... but unless app purchases increase on average over time, I wouldn't be too worried. This would be an interesting thing to look into... Most people I know buy a bunch of apps at the beginning and then stick with those.

    Angry Birds: IOS version + Mac OSX + PSN + the various themes isn't cheap. It adds up. Even the free Android version is ad-supported.

    Rovio's a one trick pony that literally has nothing else in the distance other than more theme packs and add-ons to a beaten-to-death concept.

    I'm not against smartphone gaming. If Rovio proved to us that they were wiling to innovate, sure, they might have some basis to smacktalk Nintendo, until then, no. It's a cashcow.

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