App piracy is something which is a real problem for many iOS developers, especially the smaller, independent ones. Things don’t get much easier for the big guys, either.

Rovio, the people behind Angry Birds, also suffer from a spot of piracy, and not just of the app variety, either. All sorts of merchandise is being made and sold in Asia, with Rovio getting nothing by way of monetary compensation. But that doesn’t seem to bother Rovio’s CEO Mikael Hed.

In fact, he seems to be surprisingly happy about it…

See, Hed believes that while piracy is indeed a problem, it does actually help to build a fan base, whether through official channels or not.

Speaking at a music industry conference in Cannes, Hed said that “tons and tons” of unofficial toys and the like are being sold and that app piracy is widespread. But that’s OK, because Rovio would rather continue to build its fan base rather than spend time trying to stop those nasty pirates.

It’s an interesting approach, and one that former Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka also took to an age-old issue that has troubled the gaming industry since the very beginning.

We’re just not so sure we agree with it.

[The Verge]

  • Anonymous

    Interesting approach? Piracy has been one currency of the computer industry since the very beginning, especially for software. It has harmed many and helped many. It is certainly rare for someone who benefited from piracy, admitting the fact.

  • Alvin Mendez

    Sure it’s easier to say that when you have already made millions off of the product

  • Anonymous

    He has probably the highest selling series of apps in the app store. Of course he can look at piracy more optimistically than many smaller developers

  • downloaded more than 600 million times since its 2009 launch….. 2 Angry Birds theme parks in Finland coming up…….seeking IPO in New York or HK…..and company is reportedly worth $1.2 billion?……..of course they can afford to say that……..

  • I agree with him 100%. You will never stop piracy. That’s just the way it is. Better off spending his companies resources building brand recognition and his fan base.

    • I completely agree. You will never stop piracy. It’s just going to be there no matter what. It’s better to have more fans, and some day (like me… I try apps in Installous and then pay for them if they’re good, please, no flamers), they’ll actually pay for it because it’s better to have it officially.

  • Im just happy that piracy made me realise how crappy angry birds was.

    Plenty of bucks well spent on other games and apps though.

    • Anonymous

      0.99c is a pretty big gamble – good thing you dodged that bullet

      • Seeing as how 1 in a 1000 apps is worth their price, yes. It was a pretty big gamble.