Angry Birds 2 launched a few weeks ago and has been doing incredibly well, but not good enough to keep all Rovio employees. The mobile game studio revealed cuts to 260 workers, as it transitions to a smaller, more profitable company.
Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala said the company was too eager to explore new business opportunities, adding more personnel than necessary.
We are not sure what new business opportunities Rovio was looking into, considering for the past four years its business has been primarily Angry Birds. It launched 13 titles after the original, to mixed success.
The only division to not have employees slashed is the Sony-backed film studio, currently working on the Angry Birds Movie. The company still has strong expectations for the film.
Some critics of Rovio have questioned why the company doesn’t use its mobile gaming talent to build new games. Even non Angry Birds games from the studio end up having similar mechanics, which have become diluted over the past four years.
Rovio is also suffering from a move away from paid apps. The original Angry Birds game was not available for free, and raked in a lot more money. In 2015, almost every game needs to be free-to-play to grab millions of users, or it ends up going untouched.
Games are also becoming a lot more about progression, rather than puzzle. In the early days of iOS, games like Doodle Jump, Cut the Rope and Angry Birds offered a simplistic puzzle that evolved, whereas games like Clash of Clans and Game of War keep the player intrigued through growth and defeating other players.