That bizarre image of our host dressed up as the most basic of the Angry Birds had a purpose: it was setting the scene for the arrival of Mikael Hed, CEO, Rovio, the people who are stealing away our lives in avian/porcine conflict…
There was a little background on the game, and its roots in sketches for an entirely different game, and its growth to ubiquity. The differing business model of Android versus iPhone apps seems to have been as much an access of accessibility as anything. On iPhone, you have to have an iTunes account to manage the device, so that’s an easy route to the market. The app store ecosystem is more complex, and the free-plus-ads seems to make it easier to get the game onto people’s devices – and it was a gamble that has paid off financially for them.
It’s interesting, because as much as Angry Birds has become a cultural phenomenon, there hasn’t been much evidence that Hed has a clear idea why that might be. Even the sell-out success of soft toys based on the game seems to have caught them by surprise. If anything, they seem to be leaving it to partners to build revenue from merchandise, while they continue to expand the platforms the game is available on. For example, he’s taking about consoles and downloadable content as a major target for next year.
Fun talk, but in the end, Angry Birds is Angry Birds, and phenomenons are rarely repeatable.