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1.7 billion downloads and you only make 152 million euros in revenue?

By on April 3, 2013

Angry Birds maker Rovio today revealed some financial figures, as reported in the Guardian.

  • EUR152.2 million in revenue

  • EUR55.5m in net profit

  • 45% of revenue from consumer products such as plush toys (EUR68.5m)

  • 1.7 billion downloads of Angry Birds games on all platforms

  • Headcount of 518 people

  • 263m MAUs in December 2012

Analysis

  • The  margin of 37% is impressive, but way down from its high of nearly 90% in the early days of Angry Birds’ success. It is also a surprisingly low total revenue for the game that everyone in the traditional media world seems to want to emulate.
  • The average revenue per user is surprisingly low. On a monthly basis (assuming revenue is spread evenly through the year, which it probably isn’t), Rovio is making EUR12.6m. It has 263 million active users, giving it an average revenue per user (on a monthly basis) of 5 Euro cents. If you strip out the merchandising revenue, that figure drops to 2.7 cents.
  • The company is growing very fast (headcount more than doubling in 2012). That’s new investment, but they are currently milking an existing franchise over and over.

Rovio has one of the most recognisable gaming brands in the world, yet is only generating EUR 152 million in revenue. Meanwhile, dinosaur Activision has launched and built Skylanders into a billion dollar franchise in just 15 months.

I continue to think that Rovio is a very dangerous example for the rest of the industry to aspire to.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com

7 Comments

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  5. Nicholas Lovell

    April 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    It makes me think that I wrote that last concluding line too fast, and without enough connection with the previous post. I am nervous that Rovio’s success is close to unique, and we should be focusing on more easily replicable strategies than they are following. Also, while I am impressed with Rovio’s IP development skills, as a former banker I am concerned about their concentration around one IP.

  6. Nicholas Lovell

    April 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    You are right that the games industry doesn’t aspire to Rovio. But outside the games industry, there are still many traditional media business executives whose only understanding of games is Angry Birds.

  7. Carlo Delallana

    April 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    I’m not even sure if I agree that Rovio is the example that the industry follows or even aspires to. We will see more Clash of Clans and Candy Crush clones coming out of the woodwork than Angry Bird clones. That ship has definitely sailed.

    That said, maybe Rovio aren’t greedy bastards and they’re doing ok with the profit they are generating.

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