Rovio inks pact with Idea for Angry Birds

Rovio - the parent company of Angry Birds, has struck a carrier-billing deal with mobile operator Idea Cellular, the first of many partnerships in India aiming to monetise the growing games market i...
Rovio inks pact with Idea for Angry Birds

Rovio – the parent company of Angry Birds, has struck a carrier-billing deal with mobile operator Idea Cellular, the first of many partnerships in India aiming to monetise the growing games market in the country. "It's hard to monetise a free game in a market where there is limited credit card usage. So, we have struck a carrier-billing deal with Idea. We also have sachet pricing in India with our games in the market," said Alex Lambeek, chief commercial officer at Rovio. India has 7-8 million active Angry Birds users, Lambeek said. This is Rovio's first carrier billing deal in the world. As a part of the deal, Idea will enable in-application purchases for Angry Birds Classic and Angry Birds 2.0, the latest version of the game. The tie-up with Idea will let customers download these games from a co-branded portal. Games downloaded from this portal will have in-built operator charging mechanism for all in-app purchases, which gamers would need during the game play," Shashi Shankar, chief marketing officer at Idea Cellular, said in an email to ET. "While playing the game, if the user needs extra birds or new spells to destroy, the user can easily purchase the gems, which is the currency of the game, through the Idea prepaid balance or the post-paid account." "Games downloaded from this portal will have in-built operator charging mechanism for all in-app purchases, which gamers would need during the game play," Shashi Shankar, chief marketing officer at Idea Cellular, said in an email. "While playing the game, if the user needs extra birds or new spells to destroy, the user can easily purchase the gems, which is the currency of the game, through the Idea prepaid balance or the post-paid account." The monetisation drive comes at a time when Candy Crush-maker King Digital Entertainment agreed to a $5.9 billion acquisition offer from Activision Blizzard.

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