Rovio built an empire out of a silly little physics-based game called Angry Birds. 1.5 billion downloads later, the company is thriving as an entertainment and merchandising brand thanks to licensing deals and distribution strategy, as well as a solid game.
Today, however, Andrew Stalbow, who was the man in charge of partnerships, licensing, animation and distribution at Rovio, alongside Petri Jarvilehto, Rovio’s former EVP of Games, has announced a new venture called Seriously. Seriously.
The Rovio magic remains in tact, as Seriously is aiming to use mobile gaming as a platform for entertainment franchises, though the new company is keeping mum about what these games will look like.
“We’ve got some excellent ideas we’re beginning to put into development, so we should have a game out by next year,” said Stalbow.
But the games themselves aren’t the important part. Though Seriously has a lot to live up to with the instant success of Angry Birds at Rovio, the company sees a greater challenge in taking on the same distribution and marketing strategy as Rovio.
“One of the most amazing experiences at Rovio was taking intellectual property and developing on top of it, or against it, like the launch of Angry Birds Star Wars for example,” said Stalbow. “Our experience in partnering up with different companies around the world has helped us understand integrating our own stuff into existing IP.”
Seriously will have two branches, one in Los Angeles dedicated to business developing and marketing, and the other in Finland where the games will be developed.
The major difference between Seriously and Rovio is that Seriously is taking a hard line on free to play mobile games, and banking everything on the entertainment experience that follows, whether it be merchandise, movies, TV series’, etc.
So far, founders Stalbow and Jarvilehto have seeded some of their own money into the investment, and begin shopping for institutional investment today.