The 25th annual Game Developer Conference (GDC) is on this week, and the iPhone and iPad are as much a part of the festivities as traditional gaming consoles this year. Angry Birds developer Rovio is in attendance, and CEO Peter Vesterbacka took some time to sing the praises of iOS before discussing the future of the bird-flinging franchise.
Vesterbacka didn’t mince words when it came to the source of his company’s success (via The Loop). “We really have Apple to thank,” he said. “We got away from this carrier-dominated Soviet model. Other people decided on our behalf what was a good game and what was a bad game.” said Vesterbacka, talking about the tight control network operators had over the content that appeared on their handsets before Apple introduced the App Store, which bypassed carriers entirely.
He also praised Apple for inspiring a shift that saw the focus of gaming move to mobile, noting that developers now have better luck starting with smartphone platforms and expanding business out to other devices, rather than just porting titles to iOS the way many companies attempted in the early days of iPhone gaming. And regarding the App Store’s aggressive pricing model (wherein cheaper apps often win out), Vesterbacka seems unfazed, stating simply that “ninety-nine cents is the price, there’s no point in arguing if that’s good or bad.”
The Angry Birds franchise isn’t slowing down anytime soon, which is great news for fans addicted to the physics puzzler. Vesterbacka noted that a St. Patrick’s day themed update to Angry Birds Season is on its way in March, along with Angry Birds Rio, a new 45-level spinoff game tied to an upcoming 20th Century Fox movie. Those are all well and good, but when can we expect a true game sequel? We won’t have to wait long, apparently, as Vesterbacka says brand new games are on their way this summer.
Cult of Mac suggests that we could get a sneak peek at those titles much earlier, though. GDC is taking place in San Francisco, the same location as Apple’s iPad announcement, which is scheduled for tomorrow. It seems too much of a coincidence that Apple would plan its event at the exact same time many of its development and publishing partners would already be in town, especially when it has often invited those partners up on stage at past events and product announcements. Rovio is a great candidate for an iPad 2 event presenter, considering that Angry Birds is one of the all-time bestselling iOS titles, and nearly synonymous with Apple’s iDevices.
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