Angry Birds Maker Rovio To Slash 37 Percent Of Workforce As Franchise Loses Feathers

In an attempt to create a "leaner and more agile" company, Angry Birds developer Rovio is planning to fling pink slips at up to 260 employees, the Finnish firm announced on Wednesday. The planned reduction represents more than a third of Rovio's staff and comes hot the heels of Angry Birds 2, which was downloaded nearly 50 million times in its first month of release.

Unfortunately for Rovio and its employees, downloads alone don't generate revenue, at least for freemium titles. It's the in-app purchases that count, and while Rovio didn't disclose how much it's collected from its newest Angry Birds title, the company is struggling financially. In 2014, Rovio's revenue dipped 9 percent to 158 million euros (around $180 million U.S. currency), and its operating profit tumbled 73 percent to 10 million euros (~$11.4 million).

Angry Birds 2 Screenshot

"Rovio’s growth and eagerness to explore new business opportunities over the past few years has been exceptional," Rantala adds. "As a result, we did too many things. In our current financial condition we must now put focus on where we are at our best: in creating magnificent gaming experiences, in producing an amazing animation movie and in delighting our fans with great products."

Rovio says the solution to its financial woes is cutting expenses and focusing its concentration on three primary business areas: games, media, and consumer products. However, it's the exact same line Rovio used a year ago when it cut 110 employees.

"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. Unfortunately, we also need to consider possible employee reductions," Rovio said at the time.

Angry Birds Movie

Meanwhile, there's an Angry Birds movie on the horizon, which is now scheduled to release on May 20, 2016. Those working on the production of the upcoming flick are exempt from the current round of layoffs.
Tags:  games, angry birds, Rovio