Angry Birds creator Rovio has closed down its London development studio.
The decision to close Rovio London was announced by studio head Mark Sorrell on Twitter. Although it only had seven employees, it had also been in existence for less than a year.
Sorrell said: “It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you the @rovio London Studio is going to close. Sad times for us, but I look back with genuine pride at my time with these talented and kind people. Been quite a ride.”
Sad though the news is, it was not unexpected: Rovio has struggled in recent months. In the company’s most recent financial statement, CEO Kati Levoranta maintained that: “The year 2017 was the best year in Rovio’s history. The performance indicators of the Company’s top games improved and Games revenue grew by 56%.“ However, she also admitted that: “In the last quarter of the year our new games, Angry Birds Match, Angry Birds Evolution and Battle Bay, landed short of our expectations. Competition in the market intensified, which led to a significant increase in the unit costs of user acquisition, especially in the puzzle genre.”
Plus, Rovio’s financial statement asserted that: “Brand Licensing segment revenues are expected to decline by 40% in 2018. The decline is due to the declining profile of the Angry Birds movie.” That admission caused the company’s share price to plummet.
Rovio London’s closure is clearly collateral damage in the company’s bid to recover from financial bad news and reduce its dependency on Angry Birds, a franchise showing signs of being past its popularity peak. We’ll keep you abreast of any more Rovio-related news as it emerges.