Angry Birds creator Rovio to lay off 130 staff as it tries to ‘reignite growth’

angry birds creator rovio lay 130 staff
There can’t be many smartphones that don’t have at least one Angry Birds game on it, whether or not it’s ever actually played.

Rovio, the Finnish startup that scored a massive hit with the franchise, has experienced slowing growth recently after getting ahead of itself with expansion. In a bid to steady the ship, CEO Mikael Hed says the company has no choice but to restructure with the aim of creating “a simplified organization.”

Up to 130 jobs look set to go, equal to 16 percent of Rovio’s workforce.

“It is never easy to consider changes like this, but it is better to do them sooner rather than later, when we are in a good place to reignite growth,” Hed wrote Thursday in a post on the company’s blog.

The Rovio boss said the company had been expanding “on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” explaining that in an effort to get things back on track it’s decided to focus on three key businesses that it believes have the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products. To many, however, this might sound like everything it already does, so its new business plan will likely only reveal itself as it unfolds in the coming months.

Big success

The first Angry Birds game catapulted into the iOS app store in late 2009, quickly gaining the kind of popularity that most app developers can only dream of.

With at least nine Angry Birds follow-up games, along with several spin-offs, the cross-platform apps have been downloaded to mobile devices billions of times. The astonishing success of the games led to Rovio working on a related TV show and even a movie, and also saw the launch of a range of merchandise that includes toys, books, and soft drinks.

However, with more than 60 million Angry Birds players turning their back on the game in the last two years, and financial pressures that saw profits fall to €26.9 million ($34m) in 2013 from €55.5m ($70.2m) a year earlier, Rovio has been forced to rethink its strategy.

Gaming

Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From DirectX Box to 720, it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.
Gaming

These are all the games we want to see from Square Enix at E3 2019

Square Enix will once again hold its own press conference for E3 2019. These are the games we want the company to show during the event, including the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Computing

AMD's upcoming Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Working hard or hardly working? Do it right with these versatile PC desks

Looking for a new piece of furniture that will fit in your office, dorm, or gaming cave? Here are some of our favorite computer desks on the market, whether you're a serious gamer looking for an upgrade, or just moved into a new space.
Gaming

Persona 5 The Royal due in 2020, will introduce new character and story chapter

Details for Persona 5 The Royal, an enhanced re-release of the original game, have been revealed in a new trailer from Atlus. The Royal introduces a new character that joins the Phantom Thieves and improves the overall experience.
Gaming

From the most 'Toasty!' to the least, here are the Mortal Kombat games ranked

The Mortal Kombat franchise has provided shocking delights and spilled copious pints of blood since 1992. With Mortal Kombat 11 out now for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC, we decided to rank the mainline fighting series from best to worst.
Gaming

Collected ’em all? Here are 10 collection-based RPGs Pokémon fans should try

The Pokémon games offer more than 700 monsters to catch and train, sure, but what do you do once you've caught 'em all? These 10 Pokémon-style games will help you find your next fix when need a new set of critters to catch and train.
Gaming

Anthem Act 1 features and content delayed, including Cataclysm world event

The features and events from Act 1 in the Anthem road map are taking a backseat as the developers work on the game's direction while bluntly stating that the online shooter is a long way from being the game they want it to be.
Gaming

15 Nintendo Switch games you should play in handheld mode

The Nintendo Switch's handheld mode is more than a convenient way to play games -- it's also the preferable way for some titles. Here are 15 Nintendo Switch games you should play in handheld mode.
Gaming

Days Gone will receive free post-launch DLC starting in June

Days Gone launches this week and the developers are already setting the stage for post-launch content. Starting in June with the Survivor mode, Bend Studio will begin releasing weekly free updates that include various challenges.
Computing

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.
Product Review

Something's rotten in Days Gone, and it's not the zombies

Days Gone’s predictable story is littered with repetitive missions, shoddy stealth and gunplay, and needless survival mechanics. It’s riddled with performance issues, like janky animations and consistent framerate drops.