A leading Nordic beverage company, Olvi, just reported an 85% increase in soft drink sales and its impressive growth is attributed almost entirely to the new range of Angry Birds sodas. This is one of the most tangible examples of how mobile game companies have started to have an impact on old industries, particularly in Scandinavia where franchises like Minecraft and Angry Birds have recently forged high-profile licensing deals.
The portion of Olvi sales going to export markets sky-rocketed to 20% in Q1 2013 from 3% in the same quarter last year. Olvi’s total sales hit 29.5 million euros in the reported quarter. Major export markets include Spain, Norway and the U.K. Lego’s recent Minecraft-branded boxes triggered instant sellouts in 2012, but the production runs were limited and it’s not clear whether Lego plans to launch a substantial Minecraft range of products.
Rovio has a good reason to focus tightly on licensing and merchandising sales: during May 2013, all of its games dropped out of the top-100 highest-grossing iPhone apps chart in the United States. This is the first time Rovio has not had a top-100-grossing iPhone app in America since January 2010. It is possible the mobile app market is splitting in two categories? Vendors like GungHo are focused on direct revenue generation from games, and vendors like Rovio aim to maximize brand recognition and licensing opportunities.