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Angry Birds needs more innovation, not stuffed toys, says ex-EA boss

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Former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello used his speech at the Gaming Insiders Summit to talk about gaming brands, and he didn't shirk on specifics.

Speaking at the San Francisco event, he said that game brands, like all brands, need to be consistent and trustworthy, citing Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and FIFA as good examples. But he said that some game brands need to do more to join those ranks.

Answering a question about Angry Birds, he said that Rovio needs to do more to innovate. "I don't think branding has anything to do with making stuffed toys," he said. "They are great ways to extend brands but they can also diminish a brand. They can counter relentless innovation and polish.

"Adding a Star Wars brand is not an innovation. It plays pretty much as it did. Maybe tomorrow they will do something so fundamentally innovative that they will prove me wrong, but they haven't really mastered the microtransaction model. I wish they had put as much innovation and energy into the code as went into all the other stuff. Maybe they wanted to be Disney before they had done enough."

Riccitiello also had a barb for forumites, who have mocked him and his company in the past. "At least two thirds of people who use Reddit have acne," he said. "I'm not anti-Reddit, despite all the things they've said about me over the years."