Rovio, the company behind the incredibly successful Angry Birds franchise, has announced plans to layoff 130 employees. The cuts for the Finland based technology firm amount to 16 percent of its overall workforce.
On the company’s website chief executive Mikael Hed said the layoffs will happen “sooner rather than later.” Hed adds, “We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized.”
Rovio was able to turn Angry Birds into the most profitable mobile game of all time. Following a record number of downloads, the company expanded Angry Birds into a TV series, toys, clothing, board games, and even an animated film that will be released by Sony Pictures in 2016.
The company recently announced that its net profit was more than halved in 2013 compared to the previous year.
The mobile tech firm also revealed in August that Nokia executive Pekka Rantala would take over as CEO in 2015.
While Rovio has attempted to increase its mobile reach, gamers have not flocked to their new offerings as they have with Angry Birds. Some titles like The Amazing Alexander garnered media attention but failed to obtain an increasing audience after their initial allure wore off.
Lately Rovio has failed to retain Angry Bird players with new levels and options. In 2013 Rovio’s sales increased by just 2.6 percent in year-0ver-year growth.
The newest unique attempt to turn the company around was Angry Birds Epic, a role-playing adventure with turn-based battles. Angry Birds Epic is currently listed at 83rd in Google Play’s bestselling games chart. That places the RPG-based offering below the original Angry Birds title and recent releases that include Angry Birds Stella, a game that returned to the company’s original catapult framed infrastructure.
Given the early successes of Rovio, King, and Zynga over the last 10 years, a community of mobile game manufacturers has been manufactuers, and with that community has come increasing competition that has made it hard for even the largest mobile game manufacturers to reach the top of the mobile download charts on Google Android and Apple iOS-based devices.