Angry Birds Maker Claims Console Games Are “Dying”

Love it or hate it, Rovio’s Angry Birds has been a runaway success, its immense sales on the iPhone platform enough to secure $42 million in investment recently.  And Rovio’s head, Peter Vesterbacka, is understandably bullish.

At the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Vesterbacka claimed that innovation in gaming has moved towards mobile and social spaces, because, among other reasons, it’s easier to react quicker and get content out faster.


He said that, as the mobile devices continue to grow, traditional console games are “dying” – scoffing at the pricing model that sees new games priced around the $50 mark.

“Of course,” says Venturebeat, the first to report on this story, “those $40 and $50 games are more likely to bring substantial revenue than Angry Birds, and that seems more sustainable for companies spending a lot of money building high-quality games using cutting-edge technology.”

Angry Birds has shifted over 100 million downloads, but Vesterbacka acknowledges that, in regards to the perfect business model for mobile gaming, “no one has figured it out yet.”

He seems to be doing OK, to be fair, and many would argue Angry Birds is the exception rather than the rule…

Source: Venturebeat, via CVG.



  1. “Angry Birds is the exception rather than the rule” – Absolutely. No other mobile game has ever even approached that kind of success. If mobile games were routinely selling like Angry Birds then I might be inclined to agree with him but the fact is that people are buying games like Angry Birds to play for 5 or 10 minutes while they sit on a bus or wait for a friend. When they get home, they are still firing up the PS3 or 360.

    • Don’t know what’s up with my brain today but I thought you said people were going home and fingering their PS3…

      • They are not? *shock*

      • What? I do this all of the time to my PS3. It’s like my PS3’s fan is purring at me….

    • i agree 3shirts.

      i didnt buy a nice set of recliners to put in my loungeroom to sit there and stare at a 4 inch screen playing a game that might capture my interest for 30 mins.

      Angry birds is a boring game anyway.

      • Angry Birds has reportedly 100 million downloads.
        How many are the free version?
        And of the percentage that were paid for at full price, you couldn’t get one Call of Duty map pack for 10 of them.
        Nowhere near the same level, and certainly not console-killing.

  2. Hahahaha, yes, as soon as Skyrim is playable on a portable device, sitting on my couch, watching it on a big scre…oh wait..

    • my ‘hahaha’ referred remark in the article, just to be in the clear :) would’nt want 3-shirts gallardo in the back of my neck next race :P

  3. So that’s why they released AB on the Playstation platform as a shitty Mini. :P

    I love Angry Birds, and of course I would agree that coming PSPs and other handheld consoles will struggle in this new market.
    I will never swap my stationary with a handheld of any format though, be it a phone, pad or PSP.

  4. That is a rather sensationalist comment but I think he may be right.

    There will always be the hardcore gamers, the ones that will always have a place for their consoles. However, I’ve gone from a serious gamer to someone who plays the PS3 very occasionally and, despite having bought a couple of new releases lately, I think long and hard before I buy a full game. I think this is partly because the innoavation on consoles seems to be slowing and enjoyment levels are decreasing a lot. For me personally, that is.

    Recently, it has been mobile platforms or PSN titles that have been getting the most of my attention. I won’t think twice about spending up to £3 on the app store and, more often than not, they turn out to be a very enjoyable experience.

    The likes of That Game Company and Team ICO are the only companies that are really piquing my interest on the consoles.

    • By the way, when I say I think may be right I’m referring to his other comments regarding innovation and ease of purchase, not necessarily the fact that consoles are ‘dying’.

    • 100% agree


      For me, this generation has been typified by publishers thinking bigger is better, more & bigger explosions, more badguys, more spaceships, more polygons more everything, which does bugger all for me.

      Angry Birds along with Peggle, GameDev Story, Plants Vs Zombies & many, many others are addictive as hell and have taken up just as much time, if not far more time than whatever happens to be top of the PS3 charts at the moment.

      Outside a couple of mega-franchises, sales of console games have fallen year on year for too long now to deny that home consoling isn’t in decline, all I see happening is publishers continuing to back safer & safer projects, mainly sequels whose sales increase (FIFA, CoD, MoH, BF3, Uncharted3, KZ etc) whilst everything else decreases, and true innovation is hard to come by, except in the mobile arena where innovation & playability is king – far more important than polygon count.

      This has turned me from a serious core gamer, to someone who’s barely interested in playing a game at all beyond a quick go on an old faithful to kill a bit of time.

      The £40 game is all but dead to me, I’d be surprised if I bought more than two this year, so I share the views of Peter Vesterbacka in that respect.

    • I agree about innovation. I think the limitations and low price point of PSN and mobile games force developers to be more inventive. That’s the very reason why Angry Birds is so good, it makes the most of the far more limited graphic processing ability and controls of mobile devices.

      • In my opinion, LBP2 is the PS3’s appstore. There are thousands of innovative titles on there already. And with the discovery of a new 3D glitch, anything can be made..

      • Controls is the only issue for me for mobile gaming to encroach on home console gaming territory, graphical ability is either already here, now that the Unreal & Rage engine are ported to the devices, or being solved this year so that the differences are minimal and will only be spotted in the same way a difference between a PS3 & 360 game is.

        Here is the iPad2 running Infinity Blade via HDMI-Out on a 50″ HDTV
        To the mainstream this mobile device (who’s chip will be in the iPhone5 very shortly) can do graphics pretty much like 95% of home console games, and as we progress through this year even these dual core processors will seem old in comparison to the range of quad-cores coming.

        All that needs to be nailed is controls, whilst the best iOS games makes use of the control-free interface and are amazing for mobile gaming, that don’t really work at home for a lot of the much fabled core gamers and the stereotypical game types that go along for it.

        I think the gaming pie could grow, but the slice of it that home consoles get in the future will be smaller than this gen, which is probably going to be smaller than the last gen. These new markets are the route to growth and publishers love growth, perhaps this see a new era of innovation in home console game development?

  5. Why is every developer working for a handheld so unbelievably cocky of late. Yes with the increase of handheld multimedia devices purchaces of these games are increasing. But they’re an attraction of the general market. Like 3 shirts said. These games are being bought by people who want something to do on the 15 minute train ride to work every morning. Consoles are still the viable option for serious games.

    Let´s wait and see how your next handheld game fares before making ludacrous statements and such like, eh Vesterbacka?

    • I think the key issue is who buys stuff on the mobile arena? My wife’s just got an Iphone, and we’ve been playing our way through a heap of content without yet spending a single penny.

  6. As a console gamer i enjoyed Angry Birds for about 5 mins, I’ve enjoyed 48 hours of Mass Effect 2 and haven’t even finished it yet.

  7. As Cliffy B said at GDC “Just because a new segment appears it doesn’t mean another disappears”.

    • As someone else who I can’t remember said on TSA, people still want restaurants even when fast food is around.

      • As John Lennon said; I am the eggman, I am the walrus, coo coo cachoo

  8. Honestly, these people need to pull their head out of their bottoms, get a grip mate.

  9. I dont feel that the developer of AB has seen the profit generated by mainstream gaming titles like CoD or GT5

  10. I wouldn’t say console games are dying so much as gaming across all platforms is growing, mobile gaming more-so than the others because it’s the newest form of gaming.

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