Rovio, the Finnish game developer behind Angry Birds and its many spin-offs, including Bad Piggies and Stella, is cutting up to 130 jobs.
Mikael Hed, who will be stepping down as chief executive on January 1, 2015, said it was right for the company to make changes “sooner rather than later.” Firing 130 employees would equate to 16 percent of its workforce.
“We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” he added. “As a result, we announced today that we plan to simplify our organization around our three key businesses with the highest growth potential: games, media, and consumer products.”
Rovio has a problem. Like many other prolific mobile game developers, it needs to follow-up on its first smash hit (in this case, Angry Birds) with new, equally successful titles. The mobile market is incredibly fickle though and, while spin-offs such as Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Go! have found some success, it’s yet to release an app with quite the same traction.
Rovio has tried to evolve the Angry Birds brand with merchandise, toys and cartoons, but reported mostly flat revenue for 2013.