Angry Birds creator Rovio is to axe over 250 jobs as part of a massive internal restructure, the company’s CEO has announced.
Working for a video game company is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, between the insane hours, hectic pace and the possibility that the game you’ve worked on for a couple of years could be cancelled at any time. This is punctuated by multiple studios cutting staff or closing completely, and Rovio is certainly not immune to the former.
The studio confirmed earlier today that it is restructuring its games, media and consumer products divisions, which comes in spite of the fact that the recently released Angry Birds 2, the ‘true’ sequel to Angry Birds, has amassed over 50 million downloads to date. In an official statement, Rovio revealed that the only workers that are protected from the layoffs are those associated with the upcoming Angry Birds movie. “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,” CEO Pekka Rantala wrote, adding that the company will help and support the employees affected during the transition.
Perhaps what is most shocking about the announcement is the fact that Rovio laid off staff en masse as recently as December of last year, when 110 employees lost their jobs. At the time, the cuts were attributed to the need to “slim the studio” down, which was similar in tone to Rantala’s words today. This is now 40 percent of the company’s jobs gone in nearly a year; prior to Christmas 2014, the studio was employing 850 people.