Having your app blow up on the market can be both a blessing and a curse. App developer Rovio, famous for its Angry Birds app, is finding that app success can be short-lived and unpredictable. The company laid off 260 employees on Wednesday, which is one third of its entire workforce. They were also forced to layoff 130 employees in 2014. Looks like it’s not only the birds who are angry.
What happened? The cuts were necessary due to a whopping 50% reduction in revenue from $76.8 million in 2013 to $37.3 million today. These came due to Rovio’s inability to retain user interest and to create consistent revenue streams. The other reality is that Angry Birds was a trend that’s long since moved on to newer and more interesting games. Rovio is a big company selling a small product. Multiple copycat apps that offer the same experience for less money and a lack of quality additions to their existing content resulted in users moving to the next big thing.
Angry Birds succeeded for many years due to strong brand recognition and solid gameplay. But they now exist in a market where games like Clash of Clans and Game of War – Fire Age are bringing in over $1 million per day with in-app purchases. Angry Birds, on the other hand, is bringing in a paltry $22,343. If Rovio wants to succeed with its Angry Birds franchise then it needs to adapt to the current trends in the market. User-generated content would be a great place for Rovio to start if it wants to stay competitive. Angry Birds is the perfect platform for a level-creator that would allow users to create their own levels and share them with friends or post them online for others to download. Letting users pay to download the user-created levels or letting users pay to have access to more advanced creation tools would be excellent options for Rovio to consider.
The bottom line is that you constantly need to be adapting with the market. Your game might be the poster child of app success, but if you don’t change to match the interests of your users then you’ll never retain your users. Rovio cared more about expanding its offices and its employees than it did about keeping its app relevant. In the ever-changing world of mobile gaming, you have to stay sharp and focused on delivering the experiences that users crave.
Read the full article here: ‘Angry Birds’ Developer Layoffs No Surprise in Volatile Mobile Industry