Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.

Finland’s Rovio Entertainment, the company behind Angry Birds, has finally flown into a wall.

In a blog post Thursday, the company said it would fire 130 people, or about 16% of its workforce.

The company has ridden the wild success of this game for several years now, branching out into all types of merchandise, an animated series, and a planned feature film.

Alas, the good times appear to be over. Users are floating away, and growth has not been as good as what the company expected.

“We have been building our team on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” wrote Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed in the blog post.  As a result, we announced today that we plan to simplify our organization.”

Like all good layoff announcements, the one from Rovio buries the lede, waiting until about the fifth sentence to deliver the grim news.

Instead, Hed focuses on the opportunities ahead and what Rovio will do to seize them. This includes plans to focus on three key areas: games, media, and consumer products.

It was not immediately apparent how that differs from Rovio’s previous strategy of making games, TV shows and films, and a bazillion Angry Birds t-shirts and pillows.

Perhaps the biggest surprise here is that the news comes just a few months after Rovio raised €25 million ($31.57 million) in new financing. Until now, Europe’s tech market had been speculating about when Rovio might go public.

“It is never easy to consider changes like this, but it is better to do them sooner rather than later, when we are in a good place to reignite growth,” Hed wrote. “At Rovio we live to delight our fans. This year we have more launches and news than ever. As we consider these painful measures, we keep our eye on always delighting our fans with products they love.”


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member