Abandonment issues: Rovio announces layoffs after revealing drop-off in Angry Birds players
Rovio isn't having a good year.
The company announced today that it plans to cut around 130 jobs -- around 16 percent of its workforce, according to the announcement -- as it attempts to fight the declining popularity of its game franchise. The cuts will be made "sooner rather than later" because Rovio believes it's "in a good place to reignite growth" even though "it is never easy to consider changes like this."
This is just the latest in a string of problems for Rovio. It revealed in a quarterly report earlier this year that revenues were falling as a result of consumers' disinterest in its licensed products, and it declined to share how many people were playing its mobile games, a decision I thought to mean that consumers were also abandoning the Angry Birds games that used to be so popular.
I was right: the Guardian reported in September that more than 60 million people abandoned Rovio's games between 2012 and 2014. The company's games still have 200 million players, but it's clear that consumers aren't as fond of flinging digital avians at wooden structures and green pigs as they were just a few years ago, when the Angry Birds series seemed nigh-unstoppable.
In the meantime, Rovio announced that its chief executive would be stepping aside to lead its film division, which is currently working on a feature-length film based on the game franchise, and its chief commercial officer would be taking control of the company. Which brings us to today's job cuts, which were announced in a blog post that ended with this "touching" tidbit:
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.Yeah, it seems like people are going to be really fond of the continued bastardization of a once-loved franchise with tie-ins like the "Angry Birds Transformers" game, or a feature-length film that seems about as nice as the movie based on "Tetris" announced at the end of last month.
[Image courtesy Denis Dervisevic]