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Rovio CEO Leaving 'Angry Birds' Company After Just One Year

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Rovio, the company behind the successful Angry Birds mobile franchise, today announced that its current CEO Pekka Rantala will be stepping down from the role after just one year in office. As Retuers reported, Rantala's time at the company included multiple job cuts and restructuring plans within Rovio, and his tenure coincided with the company's first reported profit decline since the launch of Angry Birds in 2009.


The company has now announced that chief legal officer Kati Levoranta will take the reins as CEO in the first quarter of 2016, after Rantala officially vacates the position. It also revealed a new initiative where "more independence" will be given its two biggest branches: games and media. Mikael Hed, former Rovio CEO, will lead the media branch while Wilhelm Taht, the current head of external products, will take the lead on the games side. According to the company, this corporate-wide policy change is what spurred Rantala to step down.
"We used to have a corporate model with centralized decisions, but that resulted into too slow reacting in very competitive markets," chairman and main owner Kaj Hed told Reuters in an interview. "As the CEO will not be so hands-on anymore, he (Rantala) felt that it wasn't for him anymore."
Earlier in the year, reports confirmed that 2014 included Rovio's first major profit decline due to a lessening interest by fans in the company's physical consumer products like clothing and toys. Rovio's profit decline from 2014 also led to the forecasting of impending decline this year, causing 213 jobs to be cut at the company back in October.

The Finnish developer's Angry Birds franchise brought the company huge success, but has seen diminishing returns recently. At the time of the decline in profit announcement, Rantala hung hope on the impending launch of Angry Birds 2 and next summer's The Angry Birds Movie as ways to bring the franchise back into the public consciousness.

Article Link: Rovio CEO Leaving 'Angry Birds' Company After Just One Year
 

chromite

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The CEO's name is Pekka, which is also the name of a warrior in Clash of Clans. Coincidence? You decide.
 
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newdeal

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Angry birds was a somewhat fun game that was novel when the first iphone was released. I honestly believe that its time has past and they need to either evolve the franchise or abandon it. It seems like the market has shifted more towards puzzle games than bird flinging
 
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0815

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here and there but not over there
Guess he couldn't save a company that can't come up with new ideas .... you can milk the same idea only so many times until it is getting old. It was a great game back than, but its time for something new (more than just minor level and graphic updates)
 
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geoff5093

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"Rovio's first major profit decline due to a lessening interest by fans in the company's physical consumer products like clothing and toys."

The only time you find Angry Birds clothes or toys now are at Walmart or Big Lots. No kid wants that stuff anymore, just parents who don't want to spend more than $5 for a shirt.
 
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CFreymarc

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Guess he couldn't save a company that can't come up with new ideas .... you can milk the same idea only so many times until it is getting old. It was a great game back than, but its time for something new (more than just minor level and graphic updates)
I'm surprised the while Angry Birds franchisee and Rovio as a whole hasn't been purchased by a studio yet. My guess is they turned down several offers, going it alone and are foundering.
 
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Traverse

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I still have the app on my device. It's fun once in a while if waiting in an office or something, but I can't believe how far they've pushed the franchise.
 
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ghostface147

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The game was fun when it first came out, then it expanded tremendously and too quickly. Then Angry Birds Go came out and changed the way the games are paid for. That was the decline. You could only play 5 times before you had to wait to recharge, then you could play again. That's when micro-transactions showed up too. They even changed Transformers to make it even more difficult than the way it began to make it harder to not avoid micro-transactions. Angry Birds 2 also is the same wait to recharge or pay to keep playing. Just terrible.

Too much exposure, too much greed, not enough different franchises.
 
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0098386

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It's as much a puzzle game as playing Call of Duty and planning who to shoot next makes that a puzzle game.

I still have the app on my device. It's fun once in a while if waiting in an office or something, but I can't believe how far they've pushed the franchise.
I imagine they felt they had something as iconic as Mario or Zelda on their hands. And it might have worked if the sequel was solid, but there you go.
 
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teslo

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rovio put out Tiny Thief a few years ago - i really enjoyed that one. they should clearly put the angry birds stuff on the back-back-burner and just keep making good titles. can't believe they've focused so heavily on an ever-waning product - 7 years! that's an eternity in mobile apps.
 
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0098386

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Angry birds fits into the definition of Puzzle Game quite nicely.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puzzle_video_game

All games do, in general all video games are mentally challenging.

In Pokemon it's a puzzle game because you have to perform short and long-term strategies a lineup to take down opponents.
In Call of Duty/other competitive FPS games, it's a puzzle game because you need to build the right weapon lineup to take down other players in a wide variety of situations.
Mario levels are obstacle courses, a puzzle you need to solve in real time based off recognisable patterns and features.

All games require some form of strategy. Strategy is a type of puzzle. It's a very loose term with games. One could say that strategy games require you to input something and see it perform without further interaction - but the birds that have in-flight actions would negate that. Y'know?
 
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Kajje

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Even the one trick ponies once grow old and get sent to the slaughter house. From then on life pretty much sucks; meatballs, short shelf life, even shorter bowel and then a one way trip to the sea. Goodbye Rovio. I had fun playing that game on my (then) brand new Android Froyo back in 2010. Had even greater fun reading your wikipedia page. 800 staff? Ha-Ha-Ha-Hilarious!
 
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teslo

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...Had even greater fun reading your wikipedia page. 800 staff? Ha-Ha-Ha-Hilarious!

for a team that releases 3-6 games per year (building, testing, marketing, movie-preparation...), that's not entirely unreasonable. 3 angry bird iterations and usually an entirely different title (The Croods, Tiny Thief, Plunder Pirates, etc).. what size would your company be?
 
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Keane16

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All games do, in general all video games are mentally challenging.

In Pokemon it's a puzzle game because you have to perform short and long-term strategies a lineup to take down opponents.
In Call of Duty/other competitive FPS games, it's a puzzle game because you need to build the right weapon lineup to take down other players in a wide variety of situations.
Mario levels are obstacle courses, a puzzle you need to solve in real time based off recognisable patterns and features.

All games require some form of strategy. Strategy is a type of puzzle. It's a very loose term with games. One could say that strategy games require you to input something and see it perform without further interaction - but the birds that have in-flight actions would negate that. Y'know?

Of course we can get crazy and boil everything down in that manner.

But they all have top level genres. CoD - Shooter. Pokemon - RPG. Mario - Platform. Madden - Sports. Angry Birds - Puzzle.

But... there is no standard, so if you want you can have CoD with your justification in the Puzzle section and nobody can say a thing.
 
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0098386

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Of course we can get crazy and boil everything down in that manner.

But they all have top level genres. CoD - Shooter. Pokemon - RPG. Mario - Platform. Madden - Sports. Angry Birds - Puzzle.

But... there is no standard, so if you want you can have CoD with your justification in the Puzzle section and nobody can say a thing.
Exactly, and Angry Birds is a physics action puzzle game, like Tetris. Physics action games are a big genre.
 
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dysamoria

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Another corporation that doesn't understand the inevitable decline in profitability for a random lucky fad? You can't perpetually capitalize on a fad.
 
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Kajje

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for a team that releases 3-6 games per year (building, testing, marketing, movie-preparation...), that's not entirely unreasonable. 3 angry bird iterations and usually an entirely different title (The Croods, Tiny Thief, Plunder Pirates, etc).. what size would your company be?
I clearly don't know. But if you insist, we have to compare apples with apples.
Let's take another game. Monument Valley claims to be created by a team of 8 core members. Agreed, there is probably a staff overhead tenfold that much to support them. Granted, an Indie studio in general doesn't have as much staff compared to the big ones.

Then we have the movies. Takes a lot of people to paint those animation slides isn't it? However nowadays a lot of those frames are made with a computer. Still need a lot of staff though. But then the movie actually isn't produced at Rovio, it's produced at their friends at Sony.

Then there's all that merchandise. Granted, it needs a lot of hands to stuff all those birds. But I cannot believe there's a sweatshop in the cellars of Rovio HQ. Produce from China indeed always needs a couple hands and eyes on site, but except for the samples not so much of these ragdolls actually end up at the office. They're being sent from the factory directly to their national distributors worldwide which, on their part do the deals with the retail sector.

800 Heads overhead over their head heading for head first crash.
 
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Kajje

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Exactly, and Angry Birds is a physics action puzzle game, like Tetris. Physics action games are a big genre.
Except, at Tetris Inc, they understand that Tetris II, Tetris III, Tetris In Space, Tetris HD, Tetris Classic, Tetris Returns, are at the end, just still Tetris.
 
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MrGuder

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Nov 30, 2012
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Oh that pic for the story I see it on the birds faces...uh your leaving us? Who will take care of us now? So sad the feeling on their faces. Come on its Christmas.
 
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CFreymarc

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"Rovio's first major profit decline due to a lessening interest by fans in the company's physical consumer products like clothing and toys."

The only time you find Angry Birds clothes or toys now are at Walmart or Big Lots. No kid wants that stuff anymore, just parents who don't want to spend more than $5 for a shirt.

Also, the initial fan base of Angry Birds is in their next phase of life. Angry Birds needs to either find a new generation of kids to sell or mature the product line to follow their fan base.

What's really missing in the Angry Birds franchise is a good First Person Shooter of enough quality beyond "popping pigs" and creative ways to collapse a perilous scaffolding.
 
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CFreymarc

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I clearly don't know. But if you insist, we have to compare apples with apples.
Let's take another game. Monument Valley claims to be created by a team of 8 core members. Agreed, there is probably a staff overhead tenfold that much to support them. Granted, an Indie studio in general doesn't have as much staff compared to the big ones. .

Monument Valley is a wonderful game who's time has finally come. There have been attempts to do Escher-esque layouts of games before. One 90's era VR demo was you "walked" into a room to see a pile of gold coins on the ceiling, doors and hall ways connected to your walls. The game was to walk in the Escher rooms where you were waling on the ceiling to get the gold.

The game failed because it was only in first person perspective where the majority of the players were falling down in the VR chamber of vertigo. One tester in particular, we ended up placing on a blindfold on them, carrying them out of the chamber, two of us held the tester by each shoulder and we walked with them outdoors with the cool breeze from the bay refreshing them to reorient. The blindfold came off in a few minutes and they were fine but they didn't drive for 24-hours per simulator policies.

The crew that made MV cracked this issue in two ways: (1) the game is in the "god" perspective allowing the game player to see the play space from almost any angle and (2) the small screen did not immerse the player avoiding disorientation. I look forward to their future updates. Love to see themed MV's such as steampunk, art deco and even Lewis Carrol or H. R. Geiger styled walking puzzles.

Then there's all that merchandise. Granted, it needs a lot of hands to stuff all those birds. But I cannot believe there's a sweatshop in the cellars of Rovio HQ. Produce from China indeed always needs a couple hands and eyes on site, but except for the samples not so much of these ragdolls actually end up at the office. They're being sent from the factory directly to their national distributors worldwide which, on their part do the deals with the retail sector.

800 Heads overhead over their head heading for head first crash.

You must look at where Angry Birds originated -- Finland! That place is a socialist country that will subsidize the hell out of anything that looks remotely profitable and novel to justify that their government model works. While Angry Birds made a ton of money, where did it go? How much in taxes did the Finnish government take from this where they could not afford to re-invest into new product? Look at how Nokia fared after the iPhone / Android pincer move crushed all contemporary mobile platforms of the time.
 
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