Rovio Cuts a Further 10 per cent of Workforce

Tim Maytom

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Mobile gaming firm Rovio is set to cut its workforce by almost 10 per cent, less than 18 months after more than a third of staff lost their jobs during a company restructure.

According to The Wall Street Journal, up to 35 jobs in the 400-strong firm are expected to be lost as part of a new restructure, primarily affecting those who are working in the company' animation unit, as well as staff in managerial and support roles. The cuts will not impact the firm's games division, according to a Rovio spokesperson.

Rovio created the hugely popular Angry Birds game, which remains the top paid mobile app of all time, but after a slew of licensing deals for consumer products and app variants early on, the company has struggled to find a new hit game to maintain revenues.

Earlier this year, the firm announced it was opening a new game development studio in London, focusing on massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) with a view to reducing its reliance on the Angry Birds franchise. The London branch is its fifth in-house studio, and is aiming to build a team of around 20 people over the next two years.

Last year saw the release of The Angry Birds Movie, which Rovio sunk a huge amount of capital into, taking on the majority of production financing itself rather than working with an established studio and distributor. The film opened at number one in US cinemas, with a $39m (£31m) opening and an eventual global box office of $349m, which suggested Rovio's gamble had paid off.

Following the release of the film, reducing the company's animation unit seems like a natural step, but it will still be seen as a backwards step for a company that has struggled to secure its legacy over the past few years.