Rovio to Lay Off 260 Employees as Angry Birds Franchise Loses its Charm
Angry Birds game franchise maker Rovio Mobile is about to cut 260 more jobs, having already reduced its workforce by 110 employees in October last year, according to TechCrunch. This news certainly comes as a surprise as the Finnish company’s latest game Angry Birds 2 has been a big hit, and has been downloaded over 50 million times in just a month, topping the charts globally.
“But generating millions of downloads is just part of the challenge. Angry Birds 2 is already falling in the charts around the world, and its freemium model doesn’t seem to be working great. In the U.S., Angry Birds 2 managed to reach the 42nd spot in the top grossing category shortly after its launch. While this is no small feat, it is nowhere near Game of War (#1), Clash of Clans (#2), Candy Crush Saga (#4) and Candy Crush Soda Saga (#7) — these games have been trusting the top grossing charts for months”.
However, it seems that Angry Birds 2 alone is not enough to pay hundreds of employees. Rovio has offices in Espoo, Stockholm, London, New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. Although Rovio also has a strong merchandise business, and the company has been licensing its brands to sell Angry Birds teddy bears, notebooks and pens. But the report points out that as the game franchise becomes less popular, these items could become irrelevant as well.
One last hope left for Rovio now is the Angry Birds Movie. The company has been working on it for a while now, and is expecting to release it in May 2016.