Chief Executive Officer, Rovio

In 2003 three friends at Helsinki University of Technology released their first games under the company name of Relude.  In 2005 Relude took on angel funding and became Rovio. Four years later Mikael Hed became CEO, Rovio released its 52nd game Angry Birds (AB) and it went straight to the top of Apple’s recently opened app store.

In 2011 Rovio raised $42m, became Rovio Entertainment and announced AB’s billionth download. In 2013 Rovio launched its Toons TV channel, created a publishing arm and generated half of its €216m revenue from licensing. In 2014 AB reached 2bn downloads but falling profits saw the company downsize – and downsize again the next year as new games failed to perform in the transition to free-to-play. Pekka Rantala succeeded Mikael Hed as CEO for 2015 but stepped down in favour of current CEO Kati Levoranta in 2016.

The company returned to profitability in 2016 divesting the animation division, retiring third party publishing and focusing on new games from the studio in Stockholm and the two studios in Espoo: Puzzle studio and Battle studio.  (A London studio was opened but closed before releasing a game).

In October 2017 (the year after the first Angry Birds movie) the company floated on Helsinki NASDAQ.  Rovio has since added three further studios acquiring PlayRaven in Helsinki, Darkfire in Copenhagen and has opened a studio in Montreal. Rovio is looking at strategic alternatives for 80% owned subsidiary Hatch Entertainment (a kids orientated cloud streaming service).

Top line financials for last five years:

The Q3 2020 report was issued on 30 October.  The latest outlook for 2020 is for ‘revenues to be somewhat lower than 2019 but adjusted operating profit will improve significantly’.

Rovio share price on this link.

The 2019 annual report provides an overview of product strategy and the performance of the top 5 games in 2019 :

  • Angry Birds 2 (2015) €108m
  • Angry Birds Dream Blast (2019) €58m
  • Angry Birds Friends (2012) €26m
  • Angry Birds Match (2017) €24m
  • Sugar Blast (September 2019) €3m
  • Other ‘catalogue’ games €7m

New games in 2020:

  • Small Town Murders (a new IP) released in June 2020
  • 8 further games are in development: 3 entered soft launch in summer 2020:
    • Angry Birds Legends
    • Hard Head Squad
    • Darkfire Heroes

The company is headquartered in Espoo and numbers 475 persons (390 in Games, 18 in Licensing, 47 in Administrative Functions, 20 Hatch Entertainment).

Principal reporting lines into the CEO:

The new CEO will bring a deep understanding of how the market is evolving, will develop a great growth case for Rovio and inspire as the leader to take the company forward.

 

For further information

julian@naturalselectiongroup.com

antonia@naturalselectiongroup.com