Angry Birds have their wings clipped; Rovio says its operating profits dropped 73% last year
With the original Angry Birds game launched in 2009 by Rovio, spin offs include Angry Birds Star Wars (I & II), Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Transformers to name a few. Rovio says that the original Angry Birds game is the most downloaded paid app of all time.
But the appeal of Angry Birds has been waning. Rovio reported a steep 73% drop in operating profits for 2014 due to a sharp decline in licensing revenue. The company reported operating profits of $10.8 million USD for all of last year, compared to $39.3 million in 2013 and $82.7 million in 2012. At the peak of the Angry Birds' success, Rovio hoped that it could use the characters to become a huge entertainment company like Disney, with a stable of popular characters it could license out. An animated movie that took years to finish is still expected to hit theaters next year.
While overall revenue was down 9% for the year to $171 million USD, revenue attributable to mobile games rose 16% to $119.3 million thanks to titles like Jolly Jam and Angry Birds Stella Pop! For the year, Rovio games were downloaded more than 600 million times.