Despite 50 million downloads of Angry Birds 2, Rovio is facing tough times. The company announced major staffing cuts this morning that will impact nearly all of its business units worldwide.
The company announced restructuring around three core business areas: games, media, and consumer products. The Angry Birds franchise in particular touches all of these, with mobile games, an upcoming movie, and a variety of toys and tangible products sold at retail.
Rovio says that the only employees that are protected from the cuts are those working on the upcoming Angry Birds movie. “This is personally a difficult decision,” writes Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala. “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 completed a round of job cuts in December 2014 that affected 110 employees (12 percent of staff at that time). Prior to that round of cuts, Rovio employed more than 850 people. Total cuts now represent approximately 40 percent of employees as of October 2014.
Rovio is built around Angry Birds, and that franchise doesn’t have the power it once did. That series is a phenomenon that isn’t easy to replicate, but the developer must try to find something new.