Angry Birds Maker Rovio Expects Consumer to Drive Sales

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A visitor tests the Angry Birds games application on a Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) Blackberry PlayBook tablet device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Close

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Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

A visitor tests the Angry Birds games application on a Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) Blackberry PlayBook tablet device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Rovio Entertainment Oy, creator of the “Angry Birds” smartphone game, expects more than half of future sales to come from consumer products such as clothing as the company expands its brand beyond mobile software.

Consumer goods accounted for 45 percent of last year’s $199 million of sales, and that proportion will rise as Rovio sells more T-shirts and toys featuring the red birds and green pigs of the game, Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka told the Global Mobile Internet conference in Beijing today.

Rovio, founded in 2003, isn’t stopping with clothing as the Espoo, Finland-based company expands into video distribution and builds activity parks in its home country as well as China and the U.K. Angry Birds has been downloaded 1.7 billion times as it taps into surging global demand for smartphones and tablet computers.

“We’ve got good downloads and good user engagement, but we are not a games company,” Vesterbacka told the conference. The company plans to have activity parks “all over China in the not-too-distant future,” he said, without providing details.

Rovio bought an animation studio two years ago and has built it into the biggest of its kind in northern Europe, he said.

The studio produces episodes running under three minutes called “Angry Birds Tunes,” and the videos have received 150 million views in the first six weeks since they were released, he said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net

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