Rovio Entertainment

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Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
Private
Industry Video games
Founded November 24, 2003; 12 years ago (2003-11-24) (as Relude)
2005 (2005) (as Rovio Mobile)
2011 (2011) (as Rovio Entertainment)
Founder Niklas Hed[1]
Headquarters Espoo, Finland[1]
Key people
Kati Levoranta, CEO
Products Angry Birds Series
Toons.TV
Revenue 142 million (2015)[2]
€26.9 million (2013)[3]
Owner Kaj Hed (70% owner)[4]
Number of employees
435 (September 2016)[3]
Divisions Rovio Animation
Rovio Stars
Rovio LVL11
Subsidiaries Futuremark Games Studio
Website Official website

Rovio Entertainment Ltd, previously known as Relude and Rovio Mobile, is a Finnish developer, publisher, distributor of video games and is an entertainment company headquartered in Espoo, Finland.[5] The company was founded in 2003 as a mobile game development studio named Relude, and was renamed to Rovio Mobile (Finnish for pyre) in 2005.[6] The company is best known for creating the Angry Birds franchise.

History[edit]

Rovio headquarters is in this office complex in Keilaniemi, Espoo.

In 2003, three students from Helsinki University of Technology (currently Aalto University School of Science), Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen and Kim Dikert, participated in a mobile game development competition at the Assembly demo party sponsored by Nokia and HP. A victory with a multiplayer game called King of the Cabbage World led the trio, along with Niklas Hed's cousin Mikael Hed, to set up their own company, Relude. King of the Cabbage World was sold to Sumea (now known as Sumea Studios as part of Digital Chocolate), and renamed to Mole War, which became one of the first commercial real-time multiplayer mobile games. In January 2005, Relude received its first round of investment from a business angel, and the company changed its name to Rovio Mobile.[7]

In 2009, Mikael Hed became the CEO. In December 2009, Rovio released Angry Birds, its 52nd game, a puzzle game where a bird is flung using a slingshot for the iPhone; it reached No. 1 spot in the Apple App Store paid apps chart after six months, and remained charted for months after.[8] Angry Birds has since been downloaded over 1 billion times,[9] with paid downloads accounting for more than 25% of total downloads, making it one of the top selling games in the Apple App Store.

In March 2011, Rovio raised $42 million in venture capital funding from Accel Partners, Atomico and Felicis Ventures.[10] In July 2011, the company changed its name to Rovio Entertainment Ltd.[11] In June 2011, the company hired David Maisel to lead their 'Angry Bird' movie production.[12] By October 2011, Rovio purchased Kombo, a Helsinki-based animation company.[13] The animation studio was acquired to produce a series of short videos released in 2012.[14] In March 2012, Rovio acquired Futuremark Game Studios, the game development division of benchmarking company Futuremark for an undisclosed sum.[15]

In May 2012, Rovio announced that its game series Angry Birds had reached its one billionth download. In July 2012, Rovio announced a distribution partnership with Activision to bring the first three Angry Birds titles to video game consoles and handhelds, in a collection named Angry Birds Trilogy. The title was released in September 2012. In November 2012, Rovio released Angry Birds Star Wars, an iteration of its popular game licensed from the Star Wars original trilogy, for mobile devices and PC.[16] Rovio partnered with Activision again to port the title to video game consoles and handhelds, with it being released on those platforms in October 2013. A sequel, Angry Birds Star Wars II, based on the Star Wars prequel trilogy, was released in September 2013.

ToonsTV logo

In March 2013, Rovio launched its multi-platform ToonsTV channel starting with Angry Birds Toons.[17] As of 2013, Rovio became a video game publisher and is publishing third party games through their Rovio Stars program.[18]

In January 2014, Rovio announced that its game series Angry Birds had reached its two billionth download.[19] In addition, it was revealed that their flagship series, Angry Birds, "leaked data" to third-party companies, possibly to surveillance agencies like the NSA.[20] In retaliation, anti-NSA hackers defaced Rovio's website.[21]

In May 2014, Rovio launched a new publishing arm, Rovio LVL11, to release experimental games.[22] The first game published under Rovio LVL11 is Retry[23] and the second is Selfie Slam.[24] As of June 2014, Rovio considers themselves an entertainment company, not just a game company. This is reinforced by Rovio's merchandise and licensing business accounting for about half of their annual revenue of $216 million in 2013.[25]

In August 2014, Rovio announced that Mikael Hed would step down as CEO in January 2015 in favor of Pekka Rantala.[26] Hed remained on Rovio's board and became the chairman of Rovio Animation. In December 2014, Rovio laid off 110 employees after net profits halved in 2013 due to its recent games, Angry Birds Epic and Go!, which have not been that successful as past games.[27] After this move, Rovio closed its Tampere studio, moving those operations to its Espoo location. At the end of 2014, Rovio suffered from a 73% decrease in profit, earning only €10 million. Pekka Rantala stated that the decrease is due to the poor sales of the licensed merchandise and the by-products of Angry Birds. He also noted that "the company are unsatisfied over the result of our licensing business".[28] In August 2015, Rovio laid off 260 employees worldwide after Angry Birds toy and merchandise revenue fell by 43% during 2014.[29] In December 2015, Rantala announced that he will step down as the CEO and will be succeeded by Kati Levoranta, former chief legal officer of Rovio, in January 2016.[30]

Divisions[edit]

Rovio Animation[edit]

See also: Toons.TV

Rovio Animation produces content for multiplatform channel ToonsTV, which is owned by Rovio. It is available in most of the Rovio apps, video-on-demand providers, smart TVs and other connected devices.[17] As of December 2014, its content was viewed more than four billion times.[31]

On 16 March 2013, ToonsTV was launched by Rovio starting with Angry Birds Toons.[17] It was followed by a Bad Piggies-based animated series Piggy Tales, which premiered on 11 April 2014.[32] The second season of Angry Birds Toons debuted on 19 October 2014,[33] and an Stella animated series based on Angry Birds Stella came out on 1 November 2014.[34] Piggy Tales: Pigs at Work debuted on 17 April 2015.

ToonsTV also streams a third-party content, including Graphic India/POW!/Stan Lee's Chakra: The Invincible series, at least four shows from Xilam Animation, National Geographic KidsAmazing Animals, Jim Henson's classic show Fraggle Rock and works from Hasbro Studios.[17]

In June 2015, Rovio announced that the Angry Birds YouTube channel had reached over two billion views.[35]

In July 2015, Rovio teamed up with NASA to create the Rocket Science Show, which features 15 episodes about the solar system as described by NASA experts.[36]

Rovio Stars[edit]

As of 2013, Rovio became a video game publisher and is publishing third party games through their Rovio Stars program. In this program, Rovio helps other game studios develop their game and then helps to distribute the game. The Rovio Stars games are Tiny Thief, Plunder Pirates, and Sky Punks.

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage, Juice Cubes, Word Monsters, and Jolly Jam were originally games from Rovio Stars. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage was moved to Nitrome,[37] Juice Cubes was moved to Pocket PlayLab, Word Monsters was moved to Raketspel, and Jolly Jam was removed from the App Stores.

Rovio LVL11[edit]

Rovio released experimental games under their Rovio LVL11 publishing arm. The Rovio LVL11 games were Retry and Selfie Slam.

Retry was released worldwide in October 2014.[38] It was later removed from the App Store in 2016. In Selfie Slam the player takes a selfie and adds limbs to make an avatar, then uses the avatar to play a selection of mini-games; it was soft launched in September 2014 for iOS in selected regions.[24] In December 2015, Rovio posted on a support page that development on Selfie Slam has been discontinued and that the worldwide release was cancelled.[39]

Games[edit]

Developed by Rovio Entertainment[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
Android iOS PC WP
2009 Angry Birds Yes Yes Yes Yes
2010 Angry Birds Seasons Yes Yes Yes Yes
2011 Angry Birds Rio Yes Yes Yes Yes
2012 Angry Birds Space Yes Yes Yes Yes
2012 Bad Piggies Yes Yes Yes Yes
2012 Angry Birds Star Wars Yes Yes Yes Yes
2013 Angry Birds Friends Yes Yes Yes No
2013 Angry Birds Star Wars II Yes Yes Yes Yes
2013 Angry Birds Go! Yes Yes No Yes
2014 Angry Birds Epic Yes Yes No Yes
2014 Angry Birds Stella Yes Yes No Yes
2014 Angry Birds Transformers Yes Yes No No
2015 Angry Birds POP! Yes Yes Yes No
2015 Angry Birds Fight! Yes Yes No No
2015 Angry Birds 2 Yes Yes No No
2015 Nibblers Yes Yes No No
2015 Love Rocks Yes Yes No No
2016 Angry Birds Action! Yes Yes No No

No longer available[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
Android iOS PC WP
2012 Amazing Alex Yes Yes No Yes
2013 The Croods Yes Yes No No

Developed by Rovio LVL11[edit]

No longer available[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
Android iOS PC WP
2014 Retry Yes Yes No No
2014 Selfie Slam No Yes No No

Published by Rovio Stars[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
Android iOS PC WP
2013 Tiny Thief Yes Yes Yes Yes
2014 Plunder Pirates Yes Yes No No
2015 Sky Punks Yes Yes No No

No longer available[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
Android iOS PC WP
2013 Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage Yes Yes No No
2013 Juice Cubes Yes Yes Yes No
2014 Word Monsters Yes Yes No No
2015 Jolly Jam Yes Yes No No

Other games developed by Rovio[edit]

Rovio developed 51 games, which were a combination of work-for-hire projects, published games and independently released titles, before the success of the original Angry Birds. Here is a selection of these games:[40][41]

  • Bounce Evolution - Nokia N900 (2009)
  • Bounce Tales - Java ME (2008)
  • Bounce Touch - Java ME (2008)
  • Bounce Boing Voyage - N-Gage (2008)
  • Burger Rush - Java ME (2008)
  • Burnout - Java ME (2007)
  • Collapse Chaos - Java ME (2008)
  • Cyber Blood - Java ME (2006)
  • Darkest Fear - Java ME (2005), iOS (2009)
  • Darkest Fear 2: Grim Oak - Java ME (2006)
  • Darkest Fear 3: Nightmare - Java ME (2006)
  • Desert Sniper - Java ME (2006)
  • Dragon & Jade - Java ME (2007)
  • Formula GP Racing - Java ME (2005)
  • Gem Drop Deluxe - Java ME (2008)
  • Marine Sniper - Java ME (2007)
  • Mole War Java ME (2004)
  • Need for Speed: Carbon - Java ME (2006)
  • Paid to Kill - Java ME (2004)
  • Paper Planes - Java ME (2008)
  • Patron Angel - Java ME (2007)
  • Playman Winter Games - Java ME (2005)
  • Shopping Madness - Java ME (2007)
  • Space Impact: Meteor Shield - Nokia N97 (2010)
  • Star Marine - Java ME (2007)
  • Sumea Ski Jump - Java ME (2007)
  • SWAT Elite Troops - Java ME (2008)
  • Totomi - iOS, Flash, Java ME (2008)
  • US Marine Corps Scout Sniper - Java ME (2006)
  • War Diary: Burma - Java ME (2005)
  • War Diary: Crusader - Java ME (2005)
  • War Diary: Torpedo - Java ME (2005)
  • Wolf Moon - Java ME (2006)
  • X Factor 2008 - Java ME (2008)

Television series[edit]

Feature films[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Studio Profile: Rovio". Edge. Future plc. 17 March 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.rovio.com/first-quarter-2016-shows-successful-turnaround-rovio-entertainment-after-expected-difficult-2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Rovio Entertainment Reports 2013 Financial Results". Rovio Entertainment. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Greg (10 June 2013). "Rovio's Updated Ownership Structure Points To Luxembourg-Based Accel Subsidiary". Arcticstartup.com. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Wauters, Robin (21 December 2012). "Inside the nest: After 3 years of Angry Birds, what's next for Rovio?". The Next Web. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Rovio - Contact". Rovio. 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  7. ^ In the land of Angry Birds: Rovio reveals its global entertainment ambitions (photo gallery). 24 November 2013. Retrieved 15 Junes 2015.
  8. ^ "In the land of Angry Birds: Rovio reveals its global entertainment ambitions". Venturebeat.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Rovio Passes a Billion Angry Birds Downloads, Still Mulling IPO - Ina Fried - Mobile". AllThingsD. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Angry Birds Turn Rich, Get $42 Million in Funding". Mashable. 10 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Wingfield, Nick (10 August 2011). "Rovio Has Plans for 'Angry Birds' Movies, Books and Toys - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Angry Birds hires movie producer for 'future films'". BBC.co.uk. 5 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Rovio Acquires animation studio Kombo". Rovio News. 
  14. ^ "Angry Birds confirm work on a film version is underway". BBC.co.uk. 20 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Ratcliffe, Chris (27 March 2012). ""Angry Birds" creator adds Futuremark Game Studio's team to fleet of talent". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Oh God, They Really Are Making Angry Birds: Star Wars". UPROXX. 
  17. ^ a b c d Holdsworth, Nick (25 September 2013). "Rovio Announces Second Season of 'Angry Birds Toons' Series". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  18. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (14 May 2013). "Angry Birds Maker Releasing Third-Party Games Via 'Rovio Stars'". PC Magazine. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Angry Birds series pecks up 2 billion downloads. January 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  20. ^ Ball, James (28 January 2014). "Angry Birds and 'leaky' phone apps targeted by NSA and GCHQ for user data". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  21. ^ Leyden, John (29 January 2014). "Angry anti-NSA hackers pwn Angry Birds site after GCHQ data slurp". The Register. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Rovio's New "LVL11 Publishing Arm Announces It's First Game: RETRY". AngryBirdsNest. 
  23. ^ "An addictive game of RETRY also known as Flappy Bird". Forbes. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "Selfie Slam is a collection of silly mini-games from Rovio that's in soft launch for iPad and iPhone". Pocket Gamer. 16 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Mighty Eagle: Angry Birds Maker Not a Games Company - Digits - WSJ". Wall Street Journal. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  26. ^ Chris Isidore (29 August 2014). "Struggling Angry Birds maker dumping CEO". CNNMoney. 
  27. ^ "Angry Birds lay off 130 staff members". Venture Beat. 19 February 2015. 
  28. ^ Brenna Hillier (19 March 2015). "Angry Birds dev profits falling off sharply – but not for the reason you think". VG247. Retrieved 19 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "Angry Birds developer Rovio to lay off 260 staff". Europegamer.net. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  30. ^ Rovio's CEO steps down after just over a year on the job The Verge. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  31. ^ "ToonsTV Hit 4 Billion Views". Rovio. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "A Brand-new Series Hits Toons.TV - Get Ready For the Piggy tales". Rovio. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  33. ^ RovioMobile (13 October 2014). "Angry Birds Toons - Season 2 Trailer!". YouTube. Retrieved 15 October 2014. Angry Birds Toons Season 2 premiered Oct 19 on Toons.TV – with a new episode airing every week! 
  34. ^ "Angry Birds Stella Animated Series!". Angry Birds. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  35. ^ TWO BILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE! Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  36. ^ Angry Birds Space Rocket Science Show Episode Guide. Retrieved 13 August 2015
  37. ^ Where is the Icebreaker Update? Tue, 08 Apr 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  38. ^ Nick Summers (22 October 2014). "Rovio tries again with RETRY, its first game under experimental publishing arm LVL11". The Next Web. 
  39. ^ "Rovio FAQ Page". 23 December 2015. 
  40. ^ The system and self-reference of the app economy: the case of Angry Birds Providence University, Taiwan by Chih-Wen Cheng. Published in October 2012.
  41. ^ Jon Mundy (13 October 2010). "Interview: Rovio on the origin of Angry Birds, being inspired by swine flu, and why you may never see an Angry Birds 2". Pocket Gamer. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 

External links[edit]