[Guest Post] Angry Birds is A BRAND

Editorial: talk about startup, we can’t separate it from “branding”, and this time Narenda Wicaksono will tell us his experience attending CommunicAsia and his view aout Angry Birds and branding.

In CommuncAsia 2011 last Sunday in Singapore, Indonesian developer from Agate Studio, GITS Indonesia, Kompas, and ITB had the opportunity to attend a seminar with one of the official in Rovio Mobile as the speaker about “The Making of Angry Birds”, after that the developer from Indonesia had lunch together with him whom share stories about the company.

Born from a Mobile Developer Competition

In 2003, three students from Helsinki University of Technology, Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen, and Kim Dikert participated in a mobile game developer competition held by one of Finland mobile company. At that time they won the competition with their game called “King of the Cabbage World” and in the end they decided to make a startup called “Relude”. “King of the Cabbage World” sold to “Digital Chocolate” and change name to “Mole War”. It became the first real time and multiplayer supported game in the world! Eight years ago.

Self Satisfaction

In 2005 receive an investment from Angel investor and change name to Rovio Mobile. At first, Rovio Mobile worked on custom development (on-demand application). Their projects were mobile games with the same level as Need for Speed for Mobile. So many challenges to worked with on-demand application, in the end they stuck with one thing, “self satisfaction”. Beside they only have “a onetime payment”, this kind of business is not a sustain one. Several publisher did offer them a royalty option, but the percentage is not equal with the total revenue from the released game.


Bored from being a ‘tailor’, Rovio Mobile start to release their own products. In December 2009 Rovio Mobile release their 52nd game, that is the Angry Birds. I won’t explain further about the game. We all know that this game is a phenomenal game. Hundreds of million dollars have entered Rovio Mobile pockets, 25% revenue from paid apps, 30% from ads, and the rest is from merchandise. Rovio Mobile own 30% of total revenue from AdMob each month, it’s quite an achievement for a company with only 120 employees. In March 2001, Rovio Mobile got a fresh 42 million dollars funding from Accel Partners, Atomico, and Felicis Ventures.

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