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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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Games... Good; Platform... Bad
By Aikouka on 3/14/2011 11:29:39 AM , Rating: 2
I don't mind the games in the mobile sector right now... I actually rather enjoy some of them (albeit I never got into Angry Birds). My problem is with the mobile operating systems and how none of them really seem to acknowledge their gaming aspect and support it.

The biggest aspect of this problem is the inability to transfer saves between devices. I purchased an iPad as a complement to my iPhone, and quickly found out that even if I was using the same app on the two devices, auxiliary files (such as saves) were not transferred between the two. The only way to do this (on Android as well) is to manually go into your phone, get the save files and copy them over.

I can't really say that just because the system isn't user-friendly that it won't be able to become popular. I mean... who has ever tried to use the same XBOX 360 profile on more than one 360? If you have, I think you'll know what I mean about not being user-friendly and still being popular ;).

Another issue that I have is more ethical and I direct it at developers like Rovio. Why is it that Angry Birds for the iOS costs 99 cents, but Angry Birds HD (!!) for the iPad costs $4.99? Do bigger sprites and a bit of extra coding really equate to needing to charge ~5x as much?

RE: Games... Good; Platform... Bad
By RamarC on 3/14/2011 1:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
frankly, mr.angry.bird can't say jack since it's doubtful it will ever approach the $100M in sales a top console game can make on its release day!

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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