Quote of the Moment: 'Piracy may not be a bad thing,' Rovio says
If there's anything more fun to hate than piracy right now, please let us know. Leave it to the Finnish creators of Angry Birds, Rovio, to spin the issue on its head. (Maybe it's just as bored as we are?) In a climate filled with new four-letter words like "SOPA" and "PIPA", Rovio CEO Mikael Hed told The Guardian at the Cannes-based Midem conference that he thinks piracy might not be so bad.
"We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products," Hed told The Guardian. "We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy. Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day."
For companies that likely reel in a metric ton of revenue from merchandise ranging from t-shirts to cookbooks, Rovio might have a point. "We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans," Hed said. "We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have. If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow."
Perhaps dreaded piracy is a way for that to happen, but Rovio has an even better plan. Hed and crew are looking to team up with record labels to cross promote its games with various artists à la GagaVille. Or, you know, maybe Angry Kanye is in the works.
Do you think, for companies that merchandise their brands as well as Angry Birds seems to have, that piracy could actually be a good thing? What are your thoughts on piracy in the gaming world? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.