Game maker says piracy can benefit sales

Jan. 30, 2012 at 6:36 PM

CANNES, France, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- The head of the company behind the wildly popular "Angry Birds" smartphone and computer game says online piracy helps companies attract more business.

"Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day," Mikael Hed, chief executive of game developer Rovio, said at a music conference in Cannes, France, Monday.

He said Rovio, based in Finland and enjoying huge success with the Angry Birds brand, learned from the music industry's mistakes when thinking about how to deal with piracy.

"We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy," Britain's Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There [are] tons and tons of [Angry Birds] merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products," he said.

It was futile to pursue people who copy Angry Birds' games and concepts unless they were harmful to the brand, he said, and he sees any type of piracy as being helpful to the brand in attracting new fans.

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