There was a moment in recent history when Angry Birds, a smartphone game people play on the toilet, was poised to sweep all of pop culture. There would be Angry Bird theme parks, museums, stuffed animals, and tampons. Now, that dream is dead.
Business Insider reports the departure of CEO Mikael Hed, the man who created the perfectly amusing little game that went on to spawn dozens of sequels and a lot of ill-conceived merchandise. Today, none of those sequels are currently among the top 100 iOS apps, and the company isn't doing so hot:
The move comes after Rovio's profits fell 52% to €26.9 million in fiscal 2013, on revenues that ticked upward only 3% to €156 million. Staff headcount, meanwhile, ballooned from 500 to 800.
The Angry Bird has not become the Mickey Mouse of the app age, as so many predicted.
BI notes that "games are essentially fads, and the Angry Birds fad is long over — eclipsed in part by Supercell's Clash of Clans and King's Candy Crush Saga." How telling that is, since King's Candy Crush Saga has tumbled firmly into the publicly traded shitter. Hed will be succeeded by a former SVP at Nokia, a company with a proven record of turning things around.
We should start reconsidering whether a single successful iPhone game is enough reason to build an entire bloated, hyped corporation.