Angry Birds maker moves into Lego territory
Angry Birds maker Rovio has signed a deal with Lego to launch Angry Birds themed building blocks to revive its business. The Angry Birds Lego sets will come out in spring 2016, at a time when the Angry Birds' full-length movie is also set to premiere. This move is aimed at improving sales which have seen a sharp drop due to the company's licensing woes.
Angry Birds - a Finnish video game franchise, was created by Rovio Entertainment in 1999. It was first launched for Apple's iOS download in December 2009. By October 2010, it became the most beloved paid application in 61 countries, with more than 100 million downloads. After 2010, the company began designing versions for other OS like Android, Windows etc.
On 10 May 2012, Angry Birds reached its one billionth download. Following this, Rovio issued a short video thanking the fans and promising "more amazing things coming soon".
On 30 April 2012, Rovio confirmed that its Angry Birds Space version had been downloaded an astounding 50 million times in 35 days. On 1 December 2013, Angry Birds broke all its previous records, with revenues of €152 million and a net profit of €55 million. Rovio's revenues doubled from 2011, recording an almost 101% leap, recording a net profit growth by 57%.
On 2 October 2014, Angry Birds' CEO Mikael Hed announced the company's decision to lay off 16% of its employees. Rovio said that the company's 'assumptions of faster growth' had not materialised. The Angry Birds maker let go 130 staff members based in Finland in order to simplify its organisation. It also closed down its office in Tampere, Finland.
Rovio reported a drop in profit by 73% due to a fall in its licensing business and franchise distribution. Its consumer product business which includes toys, clothing and brand licensing had fallen rapidly since last year. Rovio recorded a fall in operating profit to €10 million in 2014 from €36.5 million in 2013 and €76.8 million in 2012.