Angry Birds tips hat to Apple for creating gaming ecosystem

Posted by Lydia Leavitt

Does a single device have the power to change a gaming ecosystem forever? Well, Angry Birds maker Rovio’s "Mighty Eagle" Peter Vesterbacka believes it does.

The device? Apple's iPhone, of course!

Angry Birds has grown "faster than any brand ever before," becoming the third most copied franchise in China behind the likes of Disney and Hello Kitty. Angry Birds Rio even took the cake for becoming the fastest downloaded game ever with 10 million downloads in 10 days, Vesterbacka confirmed during a recent event.

Vesterbacka added that Rovio is eager to establish a strong presence in China, mainly since the country boasts over 300 million mobile Internet users.

Despite the market for knock-offs in China, the company is excited to break into the local market and would like to "sell authentic products as well."

Its goal is to reach 100 million downloads in China by 2011 and to become a "leading entertainment brand" in the country by 2012.

"We think we can do it, and to do that we're setting up a local operation and investing a lot into creating special versions of Angry Birds," he explained.

As noted above, Vesterbacka linked the established and growing success of Angry Birds to Apple. He compared the current mobile gaming climate to the era when black-and-white feature phones with games like Snake were popular saying, "we have Apple to thank for a lot of change in the industry."

Vesterbacka talked about life before iPhone and the App Store and how it was hard for game developers to directly reach fans.

"Apple created the distribution for us that we didn't have before. All of a sudden, great games mattered," said Vesterbacka. This has directly affected Rovio’s success, as "we are seeing smartphone growth explode, and we are riding that wave."

Of course it’s not all about the distribution model of the technology itself; Vesterbacka emphasized the importance of the game’s makeup and talked about how it’s focused "around the characters."

Vesterbacka predicts that iOS will be "the number one platform for a long time from a developer perspective."

As far as Android goes, Vesterbacka pointed to the "fragmentation of the [Android] ecosystem" as an issue.

"The carriers [are] messing with the experience again... Android is open, but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem."

Perhaps this is why the Android Marketplace continues to lack interesting apps and games even as it becomes more popular among the masses. 

(Via Apple Insider)