You know what isn’t making the kind of money that it used to? Angry Birds. As hard as it might be to believe, the Mario of mobile gaming isn’t quite pulling in the number that it once did. According to the latest financials released by the company this morning, Rovio’s net earnings fell by €28.6 million; a more than 50% drop from 2012.
Before you sound the panic alarms, it’s important to stress that despite poor earnings, the company’s overall revenue actually went up a few million euros – from €152.2 million to €156 million. So while earnings might be down, Rovio’s financial security is not.
Still – it’s hard to not look at the situation and ask what went wrong. There was a time when seeing Angry Birds on the top 10 paid apps list was as certain as the rising sun. Today it sits at #61. And it’s free-to-play kart racer that hoped to make a big splash back in December? It’s not even in the top 200 free apps (though, yes, it manages to crack in at #73 for free games).
This is a far cry from the “top of the App Store” situation of a few years ago. So what happened? It would be impossible to speculate, but we’re sure going to try.
It’s possible that in their attempts to create an evergreen brand, Rovio spread themselves too thin (or put their brand in front of audiences too much). Toys, clothes, cartoons – Angry Birds has been EVERYWHERE in recent years. Did people simply grow tired of it?
Is it possible that people merely wanted more of the same, and weren’t interested in offshoots and publishing attempts like Amazing Alex and Bad Piggies? Or maybe people wanted something new, and were getting burned out on similar experiences like Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Friends?
Whatever the hypotheticals, it’s seems like the real answer at the root of things is this: you can’t make lightning strike twice.
I guess that’s why they’re so determined to milk the Angry Birds brand for all its worth.