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Rovio's Vesterbacka defends mobile games, calls out Nintendo's '$49 pieces of plastic'


"A lot of people in the games industry, they think the 'real' games are on consoles. You're only a 'real' games company if you do a big budget game. But we don't have that inferiority complex," Rovio head Peter Vesterbacka told MCV in a recent interview. Vesterbacka was defending against Nintendo's latest criticisms of the mobile market -- both Nintendo of Japan head Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime have argued that low-priced smartphone apps are degrading the value of games.

"If I was trying to sell a $49 piece of plastic to people then yes, I'd be worried too," Vesterbacka added, with a tinge of vitriol, alluding to the standard retail price of a Wii game disc. "But I think it's a good sign that people are concerned -- because from my point of view we're doing something right." Rovio's Angry Birds and its spin-offs are just a $1 each for iPhone and are offered as free, ad-supported apps on the Android Market.

Still, the company has plans for more console development, having already released Angry Birds as a PlayStation Mini, with additional console ports in the pipeline -- even Nintendo's 3DS is getting an Angry Birds port. "Games consoles for us are just like launching on a new smartphone platform," Vesterbacka said nonchalantly. After all, he's probably more concerned with the movie tie-in, the planned US IPO, and, uh, having an Angry Bird etched into the Moon.

Okay, that last one probably isn't happening. Yet.

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