Angry Birds? More Like Dead Parrots, After 73 per cent Drop in Profit

Rovio logo with birdsFinnish mobile games maker Rovio has reported a 73 drop in operating profit during 2014 due to declining sales and a drop in its licensing business, the latest sign of trouble for the Angry Birds maker.

The original Angry Birds game launched to huge success in 2009, but the company has struggled to new gaming brands, and while partnerships with other entertainment companies like LucasArts have maintained revenues, it has been unable to repeat the massive success of Angry Birds, which has seen waning interest in recent years.

At the end of last year, Rovio confirmed 110 job cuts, approximately 14 per cent of its total workforce, and the closing of one of its studios, blaming over-expansion as it attempted to spread the Angry Birds brand into merchandising and animation.

While total sales fell nine per cent year on year, revenue from mobile games actually increased 16 per cent to $118.5m (£80m), with new games such as Angry Birds Stella Pop! and Jolly Jam helping it to reach annual downloads of around 600m.

“2014 results show that steps in the game portfolio, free to play competency building and advertising are going in the right direct,” said Pekka Rantala, CEO of Rovio. “I am confident that with new simplified organisation and clearer vision, we will be back to the path of growth in 2015.”

Despite the losses it has seen from its non-gaming units, the company still has a 3D animated movie planned for release in 2016, starring Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad.