Piracy is one of the biggest long-term problems for the video game industry but for Rovio, the company that created the hit Angry Birds concept, the phenomenon has a number of upsides that can, in the long term, help the popularity of its products.
Mikael Hed, a leading executive working at Rovio, told the audience at Midem, a music-focused conference taking place in France, that “We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”
The executive believes that piracy is hurting his company via both lost sales and damage to the actual brand, but Rovio has better things to do with its resources than hunt and punish pirates.
Pirated copies of the games that Rovio creates are seen as a way of promoting the brand and there’s even a hope that those who play the limited pirated games will then be attracted by the experience and will switch to the official versions.
Rovio is more interested in creating a customer base that is solid and is loyal to the company, which can only be done by treating all players as equals.
He added, “If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”
At the moment Rovio is working hard to put the finishing touches on a Facebook version of Angry Birds
, which will be launched during February, with a big event set to take part in Jakarta, Indonesia to celebrate the occasion.
Piracy has recently come to the forefront yet again as a number of video games companies opposed the passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which could have been used to quickly limit access to those sites that offered illegally obtained content.