Rovio has responded to Nintendo’s remarks over smartphones being detrimental to the game development industry.
Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka doesn’t agree, and believes console manufacturers need to rethink how digital distribution is handled on the systems in order to continue competing.
“It’s interesting to see people like Nintendo saying smartphones are destroying the games industry,” Vesterbacka told MCV. “Of course, if I was trying to sell $49 pieces of plastic to people then yes, I’d be worried too. But I think it’s a good sign that people are concerned – because from my point of view we’re doing something right.
“Look, the console market is important, but it’s also… It’s not dying, but not the fastest-growing platform out there. We don’t see it the way others do. A lot of people in the game industry, they think the ‘real’ games are on consoles. You’re only a ‘real’ games company if you do a big-budget game. But we don’t have that inferiority complex.”
Angry Birds, which has been downloaded over 100 million times for smartphones recently hit PSN, but not on XBL. At GDC, a Microsoft employee publicly wagged a finger at Rovio for a bit slow getting to consoles, but Rovio said the game not hitting XBL is Microsoft’s fault due to slow content approval.
“Is that our fault? No, that’s their problem,” he countered. “There is no reason why, when you do digital distribution on console, you couldn’t do frequent updates. It’s just a legacy way of thinking. And if the consoles want to stay relevant they have to start mimicking what’s going on around them on app stores, smartphones and online. It’s the only way, because people expect games to stay fresh.
“If you pay $59 or $69 dollars and you get no updates – but you pay 99 cents for a game in the App Store and get updates every month, then it sets the expectations higher. So the pressure is definitely on those guys.”