Angry Birds hitmaker Rovio is letting go of 260 employees. This was announced by the company on Wednesday in a press release. These layoffs will take place across the company's operations the world over barring those working on the production of The Angry Birds Movie in the United States and Canada.
"While we have gathered good momentum this year, especially with the launch of the Angry Birds 2 game - downloaded nearly 50 million times in its first month of release - fundamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart," says Rovio's CEO Pekka Rantala in the statement. "This is personally a difficult decision. However, it is certain that a leaner and more agile Rovio is absolutely necessary to move forward and take the company to new successes in the future. We will work with and support all our employees through this period of change."(Also see: I Hate Angry Birds 2 - and I'm Addicted to It)
In spite of hitting 50 million downloads with Angry Birds 2, the layoffs do come as a bit of a shock, showing that the level of success needed to keep a company like Rovio going is extremely high. With efforts in merchandise, amusement parks and cartoons among other things, it's but obvious that there's an attempt to go back to its roots and focus on what's central to the company.
"Rovio's growth and eagerness to explore new business opportunities over the past few years has been exceptional," Rantala adds. "As a result, we did too many things. In our current financial condition we must now put focus on where we are at our best: in creating magnificent gaming experiences, in producing an amazing animation movie and in delighting our fans with great products."