Rovio Entertainment co-founder Niklas He’d and executive Peter Vesterbacka have revealed to TechCrunch at the Slush conference today that Chinese players of Angry Birds have overtaken the US in terms of daily usage. They also shared how the company nearly went bust and they had to lay off 20 friends back in the early days.
While the Angry Birds has already passed a billion downloads, they said what keeps them awake at night is whether they are “going fast enough and at enough scale.” The revealed that they now want to move away from announcing the numbers of downloads and push daily active users instead. Vesterbacka added it is quite possible for them to get to one billion fans every day in the next 2 to 3 years. They also shared their plan to get “more than half” of their revenues from physical goods and that much of their growth will be in China.
How is the new Star Wars version doing?
Said Vesterbacka: “Every new game has done better than the previous one. One thing we are proud of is we are a learning company … so we work with the best people. We teamed up with Lucas Arts, who have done a great job keeping the Star Wars brand alive since the 70s. Let’s learn from them. Or Hello Kitty, who have done it since since 1974.” Clearly Rovio is playing for long term stakes.
Vesterbacka: “We’re very happy with our business in China. it’s the biggest market for smartphones and where we have the most daily active users. It recently overtook the US in daily usage.” He added “a good chunk” of revenues will come from China, though declined to put a percentage on that amount.
When asked about plans of doing an IPO, Vesterbacka told that the press likes to speculate about IPOs and acquisitions, but they really care about that too much.