What happens when almost your entire revenue is dependent on people happily flinging birds at pigs all day long (or buying plushed dolls..)? Apparently the answer is that you end up having to show half your employees the door. That’s the unfortunate case for Rovio at least, as the company behind Angry Birds has now cut 260 jobs from its workforce of originally 700.
Here’s the official statement from CEO Pekka Rantala:
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.
This isn’t the first time Rovio had to cut jobs, cutting 130 jobs back in October of 2014. Since then, Angry Birds 2 has arrived, and despite apparent success, it appears that Rovio felt a slimmed down staff was a necessary decision going forward. I’ve heard more than one person call Angry Birds the “Mario of mobile” in the past, as Angry Birds is an iconic franchise that many think of instantly when it comes to mobile gaming. Just like many think of Mario when it comes to Nintendo and old-school console gaming.
As Rovio continues to slim down its staff gradually, is this a sign that the beloved birds just don’t have the same kind of staying power as traditional gaming mascots like Mario, Zelda, Sonic, and others? Or maybe just that the mechanics of flinging birds need a bigger revamp? After all, despite keeping the same characters, Mario and the gang have arguably seen some dramatic changes to their gameplay styles over the decades.
What do you think of the Angry Birds franchise, and its latest effort with Angry Birds 2? Does it surprise you that Rovio is facing some financial challenges in the mobile world? Is the answer to Rovio’s woes to create a new non-bird franchise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.