Angry Birds maker Rovio admits slow growth, plans to lay off 16% of its staff

Himanshu Arora

Posts: 902   +7

Finland-based Rovio Entertainment, maker of the popular Angry Birds franchise, has said it is laying off up to 130 employees, or approximately 16% of its total workforce, admitting that the number of employees had swelled based on "assumptions of faster growth than has materialized".

"We announced today that we plan to simplify our organization around our three key businesses with the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products", said Chief executive Mikael Hed.

One of the most popular game series in the world, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 2 billion times since it launched back in 2009. However, its popularity is going down; the game currently has more than 200 million monthly active players, down from 263 million it had back in 2012.

Rovio also saw its profits cut by more than 50% during the last fiscal year; the figure stood at $37 million, compared with $77 million in 2012. The company's workforce, however, grew by 300 people in 2013 to 800 employees.

This compares with competitor Supercell, the four-year-old Finnish company behind the Clash of Clans franchise, which saw its revenue soar nearly nine-fold last year. The company, which is valued at over $3 billion, offers two games, and has just 132 employees.

Hed, who co-founded Rovio with his cousin Niklas Hed in 2003, has already announced that he will step down by the end of the year, to be replaced by Pekka Rantala, the company's chief commercial officer, who has previously spent 14 years working at Nokia. Hed will, however, remain on the company's board, and will also take up a role as chairman of the company's animation division.

The layoff news comes ahead of the launch of the company's new game: Angry Birds Transformers, which hits iOS and Android devices this month.

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Posts: 2,651   +1,820
Never bank on fads.
This is a simple app with some replay value, that's already hit its peak.


About time that people realize this game was big for max of 2 years, after that it became repetitive. Im surprised that it lasted this long.


Posts: 708   +100
I just got annoyed with the ads. Used to switch off wifi to avoid them. Also got annoyed that to progress you would have to purchase add-ons.


Posts: 2,151   +588
I think this game has already been played out in all honesty and in reality it was nothing too special except in its timing and image. I applaud them for making something so successful (As I am sure everyone wishes they had thought of it) but the reality is they are pretty arrogant to keep thinking that the game is going to keep exponentially growing just by changing a few images and adding a few new features constantly.

The company really needs to put more efforts into other areas instead of just straight up on the Angry Birds idea.