In the near future, Rovio will transition its games to what they call a “games as a service” set up. That is, their titles will be free-to-play while they release constant updates to support the community. They aim to acquire and retain users rather than sell their title and move on to the next game.
Willhelm Taht, Rovio’s new CEO, spoke with Gamasutra about the future of Rovio. In the early bits of the feature, which you can read in full at the source below as it’s quite interesting, Taht explains that Rovio absolutely reached higher than the games business.
“A large share of our business was other areas of business in 2013, 2014. Those areas of business were affected more deeply by the ebb and flow of the brand…
…Did we have higher aspirations for the games business? Yeah, we did. No point in denying that. I think it’s the signal to focus on some of the right things in terms of the games business.”
From here on out, Rovio wants to focus on making their titles “games as services.” That’s a term you’ll likely see thrown around a lot in the modern age. Releasing a game and moving on isn’t really that profitable by today’s standards. Releasing a game and then supporting it with months and months of free content? That’s where the money sits.
How do you make money with free games? Well, aside from going after those now infamous whales that spend all the money in free-to-play titles, Rovio’s aiming to use the same watch an ad for in-game currency that companies like Hipster Whale employ for Crossy Road.
Here’s Taht again.
“We still see a very significant portion of revenues in Go! being generated by reward videos, and basically all of our new titles as well… The importance of video ads in many of our games cannot be understated.”
People like that design, too. Taht said that fans were upset when Rovio removed the reward videos from Angry Birds Transformers.
So, expect to see less in the way of constant releases from Rovio, and more in the way of constantly updating a smaller stable of games while featuring reward videos more heavily. This is a good move for the company, for sure. Definitely smarter than Angry Birds Pork Rinds.