Rovio: Console games are “dying”

Monday, 14th March 2011 03:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka has said the console games business model is “dying”, but disagrees with fears that the industry is moving into a “casual” sphere.

Speaking on a panel at South by Southwest, as reported by VentureBeat, Vesterbacka said traditional games business models are no longer sustainable, suggesting a $40 price tag on a game that’s difficult to upgrade is ludicrous.

Vesterbacka dismissed the common descriptor “casual games”, pointing out that there is no such thing as “casual movies”, and that players can be as passionate and involved with mobile and social games as any hardcore title.

Although he admitted that “nobody has figured out” a long-term, reliable business model for mobile and social games, Vesterbacka said the popularity of Angry Brids – which recently passed 10 million downloads – proves there is a business opportunity.

The business development executive commented that his company must be wary of becoming attached to one particular model, and should keep experimenting.



  1. HighWindXIX

    I downloaded Angry Birds. Its a fun, inventive little game. But never could it replace Final Fantasy or Battlefield. Never.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Dannybuoy

    What a crock of shit

    #2 4 years ago
  3. khemphoud

    I’m really happy that someone who never made an actual game is saying that, truly happy.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Robo_1

    Surely you can no more point to the success of Angry Birds and claim that $40 games have no future, than you can point to the success of Black Ops and dismiss selling games at 59p as a fools errand.

    Both models have their successes and failures, but it’s disingenuous to dismiss $40 dollar games as ludicrous when they generally offer a type of game which current socially geared platforms struggle to deliver in anything but a compromised or broken state.

    I agree that the industry is in need of a shake up from a business perspective, but until the main console manufacturers are no longer held to a traditional retailer based business model (and can in turn kill the used game market), it’s going to be very difficult to gauge if games with the $20 -$40 million dollar budgets can actually prove profitable with a day one price tag of $10 -$20.

    The 59p price tag has worked out nicely for Rovo, and good luck to ‘em, but there is absolutely a market for traditional games with high production values, and as I’ve said before, I’d gladly wipe the 80+ apps I’ve got on my iPod for one game like Bulletstorm or Killzone 3 as I generally value the experience I get from those types of games a million times more than I do the touch screen distractions which choke up the App Store.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    Games like Angry Birds are to games, what youtube videos of cats are to movies; Sure they’re fun to watch, but they’ll never be anything more then ‘time wasters’.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Lee Morris

    Even though I don’t like it, Black Opps becoming the best selling console game ever without the price dropping dramatically, says hi.

    In other news iPhone dev says iPhone platform is amazing.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. OlderGamer

    You folks really this narrow minded and short shighted?


    Esentialy the fella is right. The games industry is consuming itself and stepping all over its user base at the sametime. 130usd to buy a new game and its month one DLC? Used games that come with dlc codes that are needed to even use the game online. Stores taking preorders on used games. Full price games that hold back and plan 30% of its content to sell you after it releases.

    So many flaws with the industry. We would have to be blind and niave to at lest not give this guy a nod.

    I believe the sustainable solution he is looking for is Streaming games. PC-centric platform where the games can be developed for PC and then streamed onto each and every console/handheld/cell phone/netbook/laptop out there with a decent broadband connection. But that is still a few years away.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. _LarZen_

    There are to many games coming out on PC and Consoles. And to much of it is crap…I would rather they stop making these shity games and try to make a good mobile (iDevice) game.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. revolting

    The two can (and for sensible people do) co-exist. They are not mutually exclusive.

    I play on one of my consoles or PC when I’m home. I play on my ipod touch when I’m on the bus or having a dump. Both sets of experiences are appreciated and valued.

    Especially when having a dump… the toilets at work are really quite dull, otherwise.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. 2plus2equals5

    There’s something true in his words.
    Developers fear a new gen of consoles, games cost too much now, in the next gen they will cost even more.
    I love traditional games but i hope that the next gen will come as late as possible.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. theBEAST137

    Let’s see Rovio develop a game on Frostbite 3 and then want people to pay $3 for it.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight


    WHy when they can make with their own engine and sell a game for 1-3$ and make far more money than DICE could ever dream of.

    #12 3 years ago

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