October 21, 2015 / 12:41 PM / 4 years ago

Angry Birds maker Rovio to cut 213 jobs and spin off learning business

Angry Birds balloons are seen as people run during Car Free Day at the main street in Jakarta July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Beawiharta

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s Rovio, maker of hit mobile phone game Angry Birds, said it will axe about a third of its workforce and will spin off its learning business to focus on games, media and consumer products.

The company will cut 213 jobs, having said in August it planned to slash up to 260 jobs when it forecast flat sales and falling profits for the full year.

Rovio has failed to create new hit games since the 2009 launch of Angry Birds, the top paid mobile app of all time, though it has tried to capitalise on its most successful brand by licensing its use on a string of consumer products.

Almost all of the job losses will be in Finland, the company said.

A Rovio spokeswoman said the company was also planning to discontinue its learning businesses, which include Angry Birds Playground, a preschool concept which it had licensed in China and Singapore, and digital learning tools.

“A spinoff startup company is looking to find funding to continue the business in a company focusing on Angry Birds Playground and digital learning tools,” spokeswoman Kaisu Karvala said in an email.

The company is pinning its hopes on an Angry Birds 3D movie, due for release in May 2016 and which the company believes will yield new licensing deals.

The job cuts follow similar steps from other gaming companies such as “Farmville” creator Zynga Inc which in May said it was looking to eliminate 364 jobs.

Rovio already cut 110 jobs in 2014.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Pravin Char and Elaine Hardcastle

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