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G+1 #17: Rovio Examines Angry Birds’ Success and Their Hopes for China


Nick Dorra, animation producer for Rovio Entertainment, and Tianyi Pan, marketing manager in China for Rovio Entertainment, came to Beijing last week to deliver a keynote and participate in a panel discussion at Great Wall Club’s G+1 Developer Event.

About Nick and Tianyi

Nick Dorra has been with Rovio Entertainment for the last three months, working as a producer of animation and design. He was a freelance producer and production manager on a variety of different film projects in Finland and also briefly ran his own consulting and production company before joining Kombo. When Rovio acquired Kombo, Dorra became the animation producer and supervises all animation and audiovisual projects.

Tianyi Pan was born in China in 1986 but moved to Finland when he was six years old. He has been with the company for one year and, like Dorra, also comes from a film background having been involved in amateur indie film as a hobby. He made two feature-length independent films and through these was asked if he would like to join Rovio. He is now the liaison with all Chinese businesses, game production, publishing and animation companies.

Making Angry Birds A Winning Hit

According to Dorra and Pan, the popularity of Angry Birds stems partly from a convergence of markets in the mobile gaming industry, but mostly from the sheer amount of planning and energy that was invested in designing the game. Rovio designed this game to be a hit, they said.

When asked what led to the success of Angry Birds, Dorra replied, “Lots of hard work. This is a question that has been asked quite a lot. Obviously there is no one single sauce. You can attribute some of it to the growth of smart phones. But it comes down to hard work and really putting an effort in when designing the game.”

Dorra and Pan both said that Rovio would continue working on Angry Birds. Unlike some gaming companies, Rovio planned to go all-in on this game, said Dorra. Pan continued, saying that they want to make it bigger. “We don’t view ourselves as a game company. We changed our name to Rovio Entertainment. We want to build a whole franchise from Angry Birds.”

Both said Rovio intends to open an office in China in the near future. They have already begun looking at office spaces. “China is very important to us,” said Dorra. “China is the second biggest market for us after the US. We want to give some of that love back in the best of ways.” For those of you who play Angry Birds, you may remember the Moon Festival update in Seasons. There is more to come for our Chinese fans. Dorra and Pan said, “That was just a taste.” The Rovio office in China will be the first overseas branch of Rovio Entertainment.

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