Rovio has said different companies have offered to purchase the firm and its Angry Birds IP, but no “really relevant discussions” on the matter have taken place at the firm as of yet.
Angry Birds and the PopCap Aquisition
Speaking with Eurogamer, Rovio’s VP franchise development, Ville Heijari, said the firm has a “pretty high” bar set, and because of this, it has yet to sell itself to the “many different companies,” whihc have approached it.
“About a year ago, in the summer of 2010, Angry Birds was already quite successful,” said Heijari. “At that point it started to look like a really, really feasible and desirable IP. So we had a lot of enquiries from many, many different parties. But we’ve had an overall strategic goal of growing this company and moving into different areas of business beyond games. I don’t think there’s ever been a really relevant discussion of whether somebody is going to buy us.
“Of course like any business if the price is right, but we’ve set the bar pretty high from early on, because we really think we have a lot of opportunities with our Angry Birds IP and there’s a lot of creativity at the studio beyond Angry Birds. It was never a strategy here to quickly cash in on anybody who comes waving a wad of cash our way.
“But the valuation from our point of view is somewhere, I dunno, maybe north of PopCap.”
Heijari admits the PopCap acquisition from EA was “an awful lot of money,” and said he feels it is just a really, really strategic move fro EA to get a foothold in the social and mobile gaming dynamic.
“[EA] have definitely taken, I wouldn’t say aggressive, but quite bold steps towards gaining more foothold in new domains to them,” he offered. “I don’t see this as either negative or positive, it’s obviously a really, really strategic move from EA.
“If you look at the valuation – Zynga is aiming for $1 billion IPO. PopCap already has a lot of really successful titles that are still going strong, a massive catalogue of titles [and is] probably not going to slow down in creating new games either. I dunno, if the price is right for EA, ha ha, then it must be right. These kind of price tags just go to show that the value is also perceived.”
Moving beyond pigs and infuriated cardinals
Heijari said that Angry Birds recently passed the 250 million downloads mark, and as of two months ago, the game had 50 million monthly active users but since that time “we have more,” he said.
However, despite this overwhelming success story, Rovio has more in the frying pan than just extra adventures for pig-hating birds. According to the VP, the firm wants to do more with the brand than just create more games out of it.
“There’s a lot of different stuff going on,” said Heijari.”We have a lot of different stuff in the pipepine.
“We already have quite a big reach with this one title. We want to now leverage that reach and bring more social experiences, more delightful games to an already established audience.
“Not to say milk the Angry Birds titles as long as they can go, but really create sustainable characters and sustainable property and build a really massive brand out of Angry Birds.”