Angry Birds developer Rovio is considering laying off up to 130 people, or roughly 16 percent of its staff. The Finnish outfit’s CEO, Mikael Hed, said in a blog post on Thursday that Rovio had been expanding “on assumptions of faster growth than have materialized,” and would now focus on games, media and consumer products – as the Guardian has noted, this may affect Rovio’s burgeoning educational wing. Angry Birds versions still have around 200 million month active players, but that’s a falling number and the firm has struggled to come up with another hit that’s comparable. Still, Rovio has a great merchandizing business that will no doubt get a boost from an upcoming Angry Birds movie.
Osmo combines real-world play with the iPad, and I was blown away when I saw a demo in May. This week, I had a chance to take it to the test.
Apple and Google are reportedly helping developers market their mobile games in exchange for temporary exclusivity to new titles. The trend will make it that much harder for smaller, unproven developers to bring attention to their titles.
Mobile games have become so popular that phone makers are offering coveted marketing spots in the app store to game makers that release early on their platforms.
iOS has long been the leader in mobile games by downloads and monetization. But Facebook’s effort comes at a time when some smaller developers are starting to rethink how they market and drive revenue to their apps on Apple’s increasingly crowded platform.
Tango has already built up a surprisingly large following of social gamers within its communications app. Now it plans to export its video, voice and messaging platform to other game makers.
Yahoo, in effect, is becoming an infrastructure company, providing tools and publishing platforms for other content creators to build their businesses on while Yahoo claims a share of the value created.
Should Rovio’s distribution strategy for “Angry Birds Toons” succeed, it would mark a coming of age of mobile apps as a genuine alternative to traditional OTT or browser-based platforms as a means of distributing and accessing video content.
Samsung is partnering with EA to encourage developers to build games for the manufacturer’s app store. The initiative should provide a big lift for Samsung Apps, which has gained some traction in Asia but remains virtually unknown in North America and Western Europe.