If ever there was a company that embodied the ideals of fame, it is Rovio. When their hit game Angry Birds hit the scene, it was a near instant success. Everyone was playing it on every platform - it even made its way to webOS. Then, almost as quickly, came the merchandise, both official and not. You couldn't go to a fan convention or comic shop without a vendor selling plushies, shirts, etc.
However, as Rovio has discovered this year, the old adage "fame is fleeting" is always true. Their userbase has declined heavily, leading to a major crash in profitability for the company. The company has also had trouble finding something that isn't Angry Birds to publish, ironically leaving all of their eggs in one basket.
As a result, the company will lay off 110 employees and close its Tampere studio. The publisher plans to consolidate its Finnish operations at their headquarters in Espoo. The layoffs are lower than first expected, leaving about 20 extra employees with jobs at the company.
Rovio was once considered the face of a new gaming industry, and looked to be headed to a large, successful IPO. Unfortunately for the company, it is the face of a new gaming industry - one that includes Zynga, which has had nearly identical issues since filing its IPO, and King. This new industry is populated by individuals or small teams who have a marketable idea, receive intense amounts of funding and stall out. It takes a lot of talent, and certainly more funding that these companies receive, to be able to milk a franchise the way Activision does, and for as long.
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