The deep cutbacks come after Finland-based Rovio eliminated 110 jobs in October 2014, as the game studio has failed to produce a hit beyond its flagship “Angry Birds” franchise. The company said it will continue to focus on its three core businesses: games, media and consumer products.
Rovio said the job reductions will apply across the entire organization — excluding those working on the production of the “Angry Birds” movie in the U.S. and Canada with Sony Pictures. The film, currently slated for May 2016 release, will feature voice cast Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage.
Rovio just launched “Angry Birds 2,” the sequel to the original worldwide hit first released in 2009, on July 30 and the title has been downloaded nearly 50 million times in less than a month.
“(F)undamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart,” Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala said in a announcing the layoffs. “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.”
For calendar year 2014, Rovio reported overall revenue of €158.3 million ($181 million), down 9% from the year prior, with the company blaming the decline on lower consumer product sales. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell 56% to €17 million ($19 million).