Finnish game developer Rovio Entertainment made its annual pilgrimage to the Consumer Electronics Show to further expand its Angry Birds franchise. With over 600 million downloads, the mobile game is now playable as an app on Samsung Smart TVs. Andrew Stalbow, General Manager, North America at Rovio Entertainment, took a quick break from CES 2012 to talk about tablets.
NVIDIA Tegra 2 and 3 tablets were everywhere at CES. What are your thoughts about the improvements that we’re seeing in the tablet space and what that opens up for Rovio?
I think tablets are incredibly exciting for us. As a brand, I think we’re very focused on the family, and I think the tablet is a great family device. We’re seeing a lot of growth in usage on tablets, and we’ve been taking our Angry Birds content onto Android tablets and the iPad. We work very closely with Amazon on the Kindle Fire, with Barnes and Noble on their Nook. We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities that tablets offer us.
Tegra 3 introduces Direct Touch technology to tablets with more responsive controls. How important is touch to the success of Angry Birds?
One of the things that has given us a great foundation to really build our brand on the tablet is the touch screen. People do feel very close to the device and to our content. It’s just a really great lean-forward experience that I think is a very powerful user experience that the player can have when they’re interacting with content. Also, it’s going to be a very powerful user state for the media in general, particularly advertisers. Having a lean-forward experience, in my mind, is much stronger than a passive, lean-back experience. I think that’s one of the many opportunities tablets offer.
Angry Birds have been stars in TV commercials for Google Chrome and even helped promote Wonderful Pistachios. How do you choose where these birds fly for cross-promotions?
We have a lot of different opportunities to partner with people. We always put the brand and the fans first in every decision we make about who to partner with. We look for people that are incredibly excited and passionate about our brand. We need to feel that there’s a great fit. That’s always the key criteria we look for when we’re working with other companies.
Angry Birds went Hollywood with the Oscar-nominated Rio movie. Outside of their own movie, do you see future Hollywood partnerships?
I think that, for sure, we’ll look at some interesting animation and entertainment integrations, a little like what we did on Rio in the past. We’ll look at some of those again in the future. We’re focused on a mix of Angry Birds IP and also some interesting partnerships, too.