Home Gaming Rovio cuts 260 jobs as Angry Birds fly towards irrelevance

Rovio cuts 260 jobs as Angry Birds fly towards irrelevance

2 min read


If you don’t know who Rovio are, then you’ve probably not owned a phone for the last, oh I don’t know, five or six years. They’re the company behind the insanely popular series of mobile games, Angry Birds, which has gone from avian flinging and bacon killing, to various other genres, and back to bird throwing yet again. Overall, it’s a franchise that has been pretty profitable, spawning merchandise beyond the games, as well as a television show, and an unreleased movie. Apparently the company needs to sharpen its focus however, which is why up to 260 people will lose their jobs moving forward.

This announcement was made in a press release over on the Rovio website (via Game Informer):

Rovio Entertainment today announced plans to restructure and concentrate its activities around three primary business areas: games, media and consumer products. As a result of these plans, the company will begin employee negotiations on up to 260 redundancies.

The negotiations apply to the whole organization, excluding those working on the production of the The Angry Birds Movie in the United States and Canada.

Ok… but why though? What reason could there possibly be for downscaling so many people? Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala had the following to say:

“While we have gathered good momentum this year, especially with the launch of the Angry Birds 2 game — downloaded nearly 50 million times in its first month of release — fundamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart. This is personally a difficult decision. However, it is certain that a leaner and more agile Rovio is absolutely necessary to move forward and take the company to new successes in the future.We will work with and support all our employees through this period of change.”

“Rovio’s growth and eagerness to explore new business opportunities over the past few years has been exceptional. 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.”

I’m sorry, what? Angry Birds 2 was downloaded 50 million times? That sounds pretty damn successful to me. I guess Rovio were hoping for bigger numbers – the sort of millions they got with the Angry Birds hype a few years ago. I haven’t touched an Angry Birds game for years myself, along with many, many others. Still, 50 million downloads really isn’t anything to scoff at or sweep under the rug.

That’s business though – it’s all about numbers and profit. While I’m all for a more focused Angry Birds gaming experiences moving forward, I don’t see why Rovio have had to lay off so much staff to realise that vision.

What do you think? Is this layoff completely unnecessary? Or is it a smart move on Rovio’s part?

Last Updated: August 27, 2015


  1. Gavin Mannion

    August 27, 2015 at 14:45

    I’m enjoying Angry Birds 2 but from what I’ve seen I’m in the minority.


    • Hammersteyn

      August 27, 2015 at 16:00

      People are angry about the energy system that you know have, Fee to Play


  2. konfab

    August 27, 2015 at 14:54

    Angry Birds: Star Wars 2: The feather awakens.


  3. Audacity (or-das-it-eeee-eee)

    August 27, 2015 at 14:58

    Shrinking is never a good thing in any situation 😛

    But seriously it’s sad to see a company with such an original and innovative IP have to downsize because they spent too long focusing on the same IP and not moving onto something new, I’m sure the movie will generate some income and hype around the games, but I think their brain power would be more valuable in something new (granted the idea isn’t completely original, they still do have a lot of skill)


  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 27, 2015 at 15:09

    Heh. That’s practically word-for-word what our big boss said when we last went through retrenchments. And the time before that. One day those words will actually come true & the world will implode.


    • HvR

      August 27, 2015 at 15:55

      If you can rather get out early, was in a company that also went through it a couple of times until it was so lean it was down to 1 secretary and the only business opportunity was switching off the lights.

      Going through retrenchments every couple of months kills your soul


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        August 27, 2015 at 18:10

        I tried, last time around I volunteered to be retrenched, they said no. Well technically they said, “Hahaha …are you serious? No.”


  5. HairyEwok

    August 27, 2015 at 15:16

    Gee, I hope those employees didn’t trash the place with eggs.


  6. Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    August 27, 2015 at 15:43

    It doesn’t surprise me, really, have you seen the Angry Birds merchandise? You can buy anything branded with their logos/birds, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could get Angry Bird Omo for that matter… I think the biggest issue is that companies fall into the tradition of believing that they can print money via merchandise, for the first year or so it goes well, but then they start running into the “This is not popular anymore” downslope and they have to make decisions like this, what usually gets taken for granted is how many jobs they created during the time of being famous….


  7. RinceThis

    August 27, 2015 at 15:45

    Sadly this isn’t a new phenomena.


  8. HvR

    August 27, 2015 at 15:59

    Big birds attacking pigs is only entertaining for so long


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Apex Legends Mobile will Launch in Ten Countries Next Week

EA and respawn’s Apex Legends will make its debut on mobile devices very soon. The game wi…