5 Tips for Indie Gaming Startups From Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio Entertainment

Good War Games meets Peter Vesterbacka

The Mighty Eagle and the Samurai Octopus

This past week our artist here at GWG, Bryant had the rare opportunity of meeting the Mighty Eagle, Peter Vesterbacka the CMO and co-founder of Rovio Entertainment, the creators of Angry Birds. Bryant gathered several awesome key points and tips that could help many of you out there on your journey to creating games and launching startups.


Take Marketing and Branding to the Next Level

Peter could not stress enough, “If you are serious about making games you have to be super serious about marketing and branding.”

Most indies dream of making games for a living and put their heart and soul into design and development. As this should definitely be the main focus of making games, you have to also keep in mind that no one will see your masterpiece unless you show it to them. Invest equal care into marketing and branding as you would the creation of your product if you ever hope to find success.


Interesting Titles Go A Long Way

Branding Your Game

Peter disclosed that the one question that he has to answer several times a day is, “why are the birds angry?” He loves the fact that he has had to do this every single day since the release of Angry Birds in 2009. According to Peter, “If the title of your game alone can make someone ask a question then from that moment on you are in their head, and that is great branding.”

Personal Branding

The Mighty Eagle takes branding a step further. Don’t just make a sweet name for your game you should have fun with your own position title. Whether it’s your business cards, your studio’s website or your Linkedin account. A creative and playful title may be more memorable than your own name, which will come in handy when networking.


Choosing the Right Investor is Important

When asked about suggestions for indie game companies in regards to financing their projects, Peter provided a word of warning. There is nothing wrong with going the route of venture capitalists for funding your project, however make sure they’re bringing more than just money to the table. You do not want an investor who has no experience in funding game ventures. You want a VC who can provide capital as well as the much needed guidance and wisdom required for success.    


To Crowdfund or Not to Crowdfund?

The Mighty Eagle is of course a huge fan of crowdfunding as an alternative to traditional funding and says they both have their own benefits. Crowdfunding can be a powerful tool if done correctly. You can use your crowdfunding campaign as a tool for marketing. Spread the word about your game and raise the funds you need at the same time.

Peter also adds, If you are not in a position where you absolutely need funding to finish your project then you should not acquire capital just for the sake of having money. Raising money is time, energy, and resource consuming. If you can put that love towards perfecting your game, you definitely should, your audience will thank you for it.      


Stand Out and Be Different

Throughout the entire discussion, in every anecdote, personal story, piece of advice and suggestion that Peter had to give us there was always one unifying theme, one point that he wanted us all to walk away with, be different. Standing out and being different is everything. If you’re going to make a game, don’t make the same game that everyone else is making. What is interesting about your undertaking? what makes it stand out from the crowd. Putting yourself in a position to constantly think outside of the box can only lead to good things. Always pushing forward, waging the war on boring and being different is what every indie company should strive for.