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Peter Vesterbacka says console games are too expensive at $40 or $50 per game, and take too long and too much work to upgrade

Angry Birds is easily one of the most popular games on the mobile market today, but the game's popularity isn't the only thing swelling these days. The maker of Angry Birds has recently announced that console games are "dying" in favor of mobile games. 

Angry Birds has been wildly successful since its release in December 2009 for Apple's iOS. With over 200 levels, special holiday editions and a low price of only 99 cents, consumers have been receptive to the game's witty and addictive themes. In fact, the game has just passed 100 million downloads, and Rovio Mobile, the computer game developer that created Angry Birds, recently announced $42 million in new funding. 

With all this success, Peter Vesterbacka, CEO of Rovio Mobile, predicted the end times of console gaming at a panel at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin. According to Vesterbacka, traditional console games are much too expensive at $40 or $50 per game, and are "difficult to upgrade" while mobile games are easier to develop and release. 

But some have argued that mobile games are more casual while console games provide a more substantial gaming experience with cutting-edge technology and extensive plots. Even Tero Ojanpera, the panel member from Nokia, said console's still had a place in the gaming industry.
In response, Vesterbacka says he is tired of people calling mobile games "casual games," and that gamers can be just as addicted and involved in Angry Birds as any console game. He even mentioned a time when he saw an Angry Birds player throw their phone across the room in frustration when they could not complete a level. 

While Vesterbacka has admitted that no one has really figured out the mobile gaming business model quite yet, he believes Angry Birds has proved that there is plenty of potential opportunity in the business, and Rovio's secret to success is to experiment. It is important, says Vesterbacka, that Rovio does not get too comfortable with any specific business model in order to stay fresh and on top of its game. 


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RE: sorry
By chmilz on 3/14/2011 10:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
The real truth lies somewhere between the two previous posts.

Angry birds is a simple game, and easily playable for a few minutes here and there, amounting to hours over time. A console game is more limited, requiring the player to sit down and focus on it, which can be tough for the time strapped gamer.

However, no mobile game to date can compete with the AI, story, complexity, or immersion of a good console game. Not by a long shot. But the flip side is that console game cost $100M to make, while the app cost $5K.

In time, competition will deliver a great middle ground where you can get, on any platform, a great game for $10, or a fun mindless game for $1.


RE: sorry
By SkullOne on 3/14/2011 11:02:46 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree.

I don't have the time to play many of today's games. I make the time for certain ones but even then the game will take me 2 weeks to finish instead of two days.

I got married about 18 months ago and that killed a lot of my game time. Now she's pregnant which further hurts the little game time I have. We just bought our first house and we have some work to do there which means very little game time in future as I have a man cave to build. Once the kid arrives all bets are off if I get any game time at all.

This is why I enjoy things like Angry Birds. I can play a level or two here and there and allow myself a few moments of relaxation. I can stop the game whenever I want without losing the last 30 minutes of work. I don't see console gaming as dying but I clearly see the appeal of mobile gaming.


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