Rovio has announced today that the company will only be laying off 110 employees instead of the 130 tht they had originally announced. While some may find this a bit surprising, considering how successful Rovio has been for their first 5-6 years. Some would say the company is still pretty successful and in a lot of ways it is.
However Rovio has sort of put themselves into a corner, sort of like what happens when an actor gets type-casted. Rovio hasn’t been able to get out from under the Angry Birds shadow, even after the launch of their third-party publishing label Rovio Stars which started off quite good but as of late it has seemed to fizzle out. We’ve commented many times in the past how Rovio seems to be beating a dead horse with a stick when it comes to Angry Birds. The company has marketed the living crap out of the franchise, releasing every type of product you could imagine from stuffed toys to cooking books and everything in between. That’s not including all the spin-off games, movie tie-ins, and so on.
So is this why Rovio is cutting jobs and shutting down a studio location? It appears to be. The company will be shutting down its Tampere studio in a move to consolidate its Finland operations at its headquarters in Espoo. All of this stems from Rovio seeing weak sales in the earlier part of 2014 as it looks like consumers are not finding the franchise as appealing.
While it is always unfortunate when there are layoffs that happen like this, hopefully Rovio can get a footing on the problem and figure out a good way to fling themselves out of the unfortunate nest they have created.