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Angry Birds's Vesterbacka: Franchise Extending To 'Very Different Titles'

Talking at the recent GDC China show in Shanghai, Rovio head and Angry Birds co-creator Peter Vesterbacka discussed how the Finnish developer will advance the franchise via "very different [genre] titles."
Talking at the recent Gamasutra-attended GDC China show in Shanghai, Rovio head and Angry Birds co-creator Peter Vesterbacka discussed how the Finnish developer will advance the franchise, suggesting "very different [genre] titles" using the Angry Birds characters are part of the plan. Speaking to a packed audience as part of his Mobile Games Summit speech during the show, Vesterbacka discussed the 8 months in development of the hit iOS and Android title, which has been downloaded more than 50 million times in free and paid versions. The game from the veteran Scandinavian game creator was planned specifically to compete in the "competitive, brutal marketplace", and now the title has become a major success, name-checked by celebrities and the man in the street alike. In fact, the title and its Halloween/Christmas spin-off hold the top two paid positions in the chart even as of press time. So how do you keep at the top? Well, Vesterbacka pointed out that the game was not an instant success - it took 5 months to reach the top of the charts, and did so gradually. But from there, it's been key to continue updating very regularly with new content, even though they're not charging any extra for it - and so with updates every 4 weeks and even the seasonal version, plus the timeless nature of the gameplay, Rovio has really capitalized and retained their high chart placement. Vesterbacka explained to the audience, regarding the original Angry Birds: "We started in mobile and we're going after all the other platforms", with console downloadable and other versions planned for the near future. But it's the Angry Birds' franchise larger plans for the future that also concern the Rovio head, as he explained that there is a compelling backstory to the game, involving an island, pigs stealing eggs and the resultant furious avians. It's that, and the compellingly cute nature of the characters, that he believes makes it possible to extend the franchise even beyond the genre that has made Angry Birds famous, with Vesterbacka referencing Mario as a single character that participates in different many game styles. So, he notes, you should expect to see "very different titles" using the Angry Birds characters over time, just as you might see Mario is a 2D or 3D platformer as well as in games like Mario Kart.

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