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FB – Let’s Be Friends
In a recent interview with Eurogamer.net, Angry Birds developer Rovio revealed the level at which they value themselves. Quoted as being “north” of the estimated $1.3 billion that EA is going to spend on picking up Popcap Games, developer Rovio isn’t planning on selling the Angry Birds name for chump change anytime soon.
For perspective: Popcap Games have been responsible for a very respectable number of games we’ve all sunk at least a few hours into (a conservative estimate for some), such as the Bejeweled series and Plants vs. Zombies. Given the track record of Popcap, is Rovio perhaps being a little unrealistic? Rovio doesn’t think so, according to this quote from the Eurogamer.net interview with Ville Heijari, the VP of franchise development at the Angry Birds developer:
“Of course like any business if the price is right, ha!” he exclaimed. “But we’ve set the bar pretty high from early on, because we really think we have a lot of opportunities with our Angry Birds IP and there’s a lot of creativity at the studio beyond Angry Birds. It was never a strategy here to quickly cash in on anybody who comes waving a wad of cash our way.”
There’s something terribly important to consider about Rovio’s self-pricing: they have floated entirely on the Angry Birds intellectual property. For anyone looking to acquire Rovio, it should be considered whether or not they can continue to develop games on the level of Angry Birds. Or perhaps that’s not nearly as important as the Angry Birds property, itself, seeing as the name has produced an exorbitant amount of income for Rovio by this point. Just recently, in fact, Angry Birds surpassed 250 million downloads across all platforms, a number which is undeniably formidable.
Should EA, among other interested parties, be looking instead to buy the Angry Birds property itself, in that case? Just the other day, on my way out of the super-market, there was a claw machine full of Angry Birds plush toys. It’s actually inaccurate to consider it “full,” as well, with the number of plush toys missing indicating that people were at least playing it. I’ve seen people wearing Angry Birds shirts. I’ve seen Angry Birds hats.
There’s even an Angry Birds board game, made by Mattel. Even if I doubt stuffing claw machines is the most lucrative venture for Rovio, it certainly proves that a property based on a fun, but unchanging gameplay archetype can reach a massive level of exposure. We’ll just have to wait and see if Rovio can reproduce the same sort of addiction-creating gameplay in future releases. If Rovio can manage another hit on the scale of Angry Birds – a feat which they seem confident in achieving – then perhaps their price-tag won’t quite seem so outlandish.