Rovio Talks IPO Maybe For 2012

2012 might be the year that Rovio officially goes public. Their game Angry Birds has seen 400 million free and paid downloads since 2009, about three-quarters of which have come in the past half year and is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

“We’re not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow,” said Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio chief marketing officer. “Maybe a year from now. We’re happy with our valuation but we think it’s probably a bit north of that.”

Rovio’s business has expanded to include t-shirts, Halloween costumes, stuffed toys and a cookbook. Roughly 10 to 20 percent of their business is now merchandising.

“We’re insanely profitable,” said Vesterbacka. “We are very, very profitable. We’re not a publicly traded company yet but we can fund our own growth.”

Rumors have swirled over an Angry Birds TV show or movie and Rovio estimates that the game has about 150 million active users. “We think we have a good shot at being the first entertainment brand that has a billion fans — people we can talk to and have a dialog with every day,” said Vesterbacka.

“We’re still building a lot of our infrastructure, our company, our platform, everything,” Vesterbacka said. “There’s a lot of good discipline in having to be ready to go public.”

Rovio may seek another venture-capital round before its IPO. “We’re still building a lot of our infrastructure, our company, our platform, everything,” Vesterbacka said. “There’s a lot of good discipline in having to be ready to go public.”

Vesterbacka noted that Angry Birds is on a 20 year plan, and that the anticipated movie might come as an app. “Disney started as a black and white cartoon about this little mouse,” he said. “Nintendo has been working on Mario for 26 years. Angry Birds is less than two years old.”

Source: Bloomberg

Ngmoco Announces New Marketing Manager

Ngmoco has announced that Michael Staskin has been named the company’s new chief marketing officer. The veteran of Italian gaming and lottery company Sisal SpA and toy company Mattel, and will oversee all marketing duties such as the continuing launch and development of mobile gaming platform Mobage in the West.

“Michael is a world-class marketer who has managed some of the world’s biggest brands on a global scale,” said Ngmoco CEO Neil Young. “His ability to create value for real and virtual goods around the world makes him a remarkable addition to Ngmoco’s executive team. We’re thrilled to welcome him aboard.”

Perfection Is Subjective

Here’s your chance to mess with perfection. Dream up your ultimate Mustang and choose out of the Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302, and Shelby GT500. Ford is encouraging fans to “mess with perfection” {link no longer active} with the new 2012 Mustang Customizing Online Feature. With this unique tool, redefine your perfect Mustang, and then make it a reality and battle it out with your Facebook friends. The more you win, the more you move up in status. Check out some of the current battle leaders {link no longer active}.

TwitchTV Adds ESL, Team Dignitas

TwitchTV has announced that they have teamed up with Electronic Sports League (ESL) and Team Dignitas. They will work together to provide streaming video of their players and events as part of a new revenue sharing deal between the teams and the network.

“At the ESL, we all have an overwhelming passion for eSports, and we know we share it with the TwitchTV team,” said Sven Hoffmann, managing director at ESL TV, web TV service of the ESL. “We’re happy to partner with them to bring all ESL content to the TwitchTV platform. Their audience of gamers, high quality video platform and passion for gaming makes them the best choice.”

“As the leader in eSports broadcasting, it’s critical that we continue to attract and showcase the industry’s top talent,” said Emmett Shear, CEO of TwitchTV. “These two new partnerships are the latest in a long list that includes the largest, most reputable organizations in electronic gaming. I’m so proud that teams and leagues of this caliber see fit to partner with us. We’re here to support them in everything they do.”

Grand Theft Auto III Comes To Mobile Devices

Rockstar has announced that as part of the tenth anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III, the game will come to iOS and Android devices. They will also sell a limited edition action figure of protagonist Claude for $149.99.

Grand Theft Auto III showed us the potential of open world games,” said Rockstar founder Sam Houser. “It helped set the vision for the company, and we have been expanding on those possibilities with every game ever since.”

Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle Pulls Over $1.1 Million

The Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle recently concluded with 231,800 bundles sold for a total of $1,115,405.89. The bundle included the titular Frozen Synapse, Space Chem and Trauma.

The average paid for each bundle was $4.81, the the Windows user average at $4.13, Mac users paying $6.96, and Linux users putting out $9.41. Those who paid above the total average also received the Humble FrozenByte Bundle, which included Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Splot and Jack Claw.


Sony Open To Free-To-Play For PS Vita

Chris Norden, Senior Staff Developer Support Engineer at SCEA has confirmed that all PS Vita releases will be available day and date on PSN with the retail releases. He also confirmed that there will be a 20 megabyte download restriction on the 3G model, similar to smartphones, but there will be no download restriction over Wi-Fi.

When asked about free-to-play games, he responded, “You are free to explore whatever business model you want. You’ll have to talk to your account manager, and say, ‘Here’s my idea, and here’s what I wanna do,’ but yes, you’re allowed to do that.”

Source: Gamasutra