Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has opened up a brand new game studio in London with a focus on mobile massively multiplayer online games (MMOs).
The move props up the Espoo, Finland-based company to expand its in-house development capacity. It will focus on new intellectual properties that stretch beyond go the Angry Birds imagination, which now stands at about eight years old.
In 2016, Rovio’s Angry Birds movie came out, generating more than $350 million in revenues worldwide. What’s more, the company’s Angry Birds games have been downloaded three billion times since 2009. Although the company has had more than 500 million additional downloads of other games, Rovio is in serious need to continue to diversify and churn up more hits. Antti Viitanen, senior vice president of studios, said in a statement,
Our business is profitably growing, and the time has come for us to grow in numbers too. London is the most logical place for us to found a new studio that will complement our overall global mix of internal and external developers. London is also a fantastically diverse talent magnet that has already paid Rovio dividends, as our local consumer products team that is based there has shown.
The London studio falls in place beside four other Rovio in-house studios, which includes three in Finland and one in Stockholm, Sweden. Rovio also works with a number of external studios. Mark Sorrell, head of the studio, commented in a statement,
We believe that the best game experiences are those that you share with other people. So we’re starting a studio to do exactly this. We look forward to bringing a diverse team together to deliver unique MMOs that are creative, inclusive, and delightful.
The next two years will see Rovio London building a collaborative team of about 20 members. In the first year, it plans to hire a total of eight people. Rovio is making the announcement at the Pocket Gamer Connects event in London.
When asked about Brexit, or the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, and the considerations it would have for their decision, Sorrell said in an email,
As we expand our development studio presence out of the Nordics, London seemed the logical choice. The breadth and depth of talent in London is incredible; its position as a world cultural [center] is unquestionable; and we don’t see Brexit significantly changing either of those things. We already have premises here thanks to our consumer products team, so it really was the obvious choice.