The games business is tough. Its a hits driven industry where what is cool and amazing one year is decidedly less so just 12 months later. Once famous for its Mafia Wars and Farmville games, Zynga has taken a turn for the worse and has been doing nothing but firing and downsizing in the years since its peak success.
Angry Birds maker Rovio appears to be suffering a similar fate after it announced plans to lay off 260 employees, mere weeks after releasing its much anticipated Angry Birds 2 mobile game.
While the game is well regarded its also been deemed annoying.
Almost every game play mechanism has a paid element to it, which amounts to Rovio extorting users at every turn with no option to pay one fixed price to just enjoy playing.
The constant nagging demonstrates the financial pressure Rovio is under.
The Finnish mobile games developer and would-be entertainment company announced on Wednesday it will cut roughly one third of its work force in an effort to narrow down its focus to its core games and media businesses.
Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala called it a “personally 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 was founded as a family business by the Hed family, and saw its fortunes soar when, in 2012, it made a stunning $63 million profit on the back of its hit game Angry Birds. It has since struggled to deliver another title that matches the success of Angry Birds.
Rantala took over the CEO role from co-founder Mikael Hed last year in a bid to turn the company around.
Rantala admitted in the latest announcement that the company’s decision to turn Angry Birds into a merchandising juggernaut have backfired.
“Rovio’s growth and eagerness to explore new business opportunities over the past few years has been exceptional,” Rantala stated.
“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.”
After years of delay the animated Angry Birds movie is, tentatively, set to be released in May of 2016.