Angry Birds maker Rovio plans layoffs in restructuring

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HELSINKI (AP) — Popular mobile games maker Rovio Entertainment said Wednesday it plans to lay off up to 260 people, or about a third of its workforce, because the company took on "too many things" during the past few years.

Rovio says it will restructure the Finnish company to focus on three core activities of games, media and consumer products. The exact number of layoffs, to be announced later, will affect the organization worldwide, excluding teams in the United States and Canada working on the Angry Birds Movie, scheduled for release in May 2016.

Most of the cutbacks will hit some 230 employees in Finland, said Rovio spokeswoman Kaisu Karvala.

"This is, of course, the saddest day in the history of Rovio," Karvala said. "But it also means we'll be focusing in the future only on the business sectors we believe in."

CEO Pekka Rantala said Rovio's new game, Angry Birds 2, had been downloaded nearly 50 million times since its July 30 launch.

"While we have gathered good momentum this year ... fundamental changes are needed to ensure Rovio succeeds in its global ambitions to be the leading entertainment company with mobile games at its heart," Rantala said. "It is certain that a leaner and more agile Rovio is absolutely necessary to move forward and take the company to new successes in the future."

Rovio, founded in 2003, also sacked workers last year as it had expected greater growth from the popular Angry Birds game, which had helped the privately-owned company grow by double-digits. It has estimated that more than 200 million people play the game, launched in 2009.

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