Every time you turn around, it seems like another Angry Birds game or product is launched. Recently Rovio launched Angry Birds: Stella, and Angry Birds: Transformers is due out later this month. However, it appears that interest in the Angry Birds franchise is finally waning as Rovio announced it is axing 16% of its labor force by laying off 130 employees.
The layoffs were announced on the Rovio blog in a post titled “Towards a Simplified Organization” which suggests that Rovio is looking to streamline operations. The post goes on to indicate that they will be focusing on “three key businesses with the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products”, and as a result need to possibly reduce their workforce in Finland by up to 130 employees.
The popular game by the Finnish company was launched for iOS devices back in December 2009 and since then has spawned over 10 versions of the game in a series of sequels and spin-offs, including tie-ins to popular franchises like Star Wars and Transformers. In order to try and stay mainstream and relevant, Rovio also released a pair of TV series – Angry Birds Toons and Piggy Tales, and have a movie in the works for 2016. Rovio has also partnered with Mattel, Hasbro, and other toy companies to produce branded merchandise, which accounted for 45% of their revenue in 2012.
Rovio definitely was at the top of the mobile gaming industry – as was Zynga before them, but there are only so many ways you can re-package the same concept before it loses it’s appeal. Rovio goes on to say:
At Rovio we live to delight our fans. This year we have more launches and news than ever. As we consider these painful measures, we keep our eye on always delighting our fans with products they love.
Time will tell how much longer Rovio can keep the Angry Birds franchise afloat, or if they have other ideas up their sleeves which will help them retain their reign in mobile gaming.
What do you think about Rovio’s round of layoffs? We never want to hear about people losing their jobs, but is it time the Angry Birds franchise is finally laid to rest? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.