Recent job listings reveal that Finnish mobile hit-maker Supercell is now trying to take off and follow in the golden merchandise footsteps of Finland’s mobile gaming icons, Angry Birds, with an increased focus on merchandise and licensing business. They state these ambitions directly in the job description
Supercell makes games loved by tens of millions of players, who enjoy more than the games. They love Supercell’s characters & worlds, and want to enjoy them outside of the games themselves. As such, Supercell wants to create world-class licensed merchandise designed exclusively to be enjoyed by our dedicated fans.
Rovio has previously posted earnings showing that 47% of their revenue was generated by merchandise and licensing. And if Supercell could copy this, they could stand to double their current yearly revenue of 890 million dollars to a staggering 1.78 billion dollars, even if that will most likely take a few years to materialize.
Rovio has recently been through a rough patch where they have announced a change of leadership as Mikael Hed will step down as the CEO in 2015 after five years on the post. He will be succeeded by Pekka Rantala. A few weeks later, they furthermore announced that they had to lay off 130 employees, approx. 16% of the total workforce, as their growth had not matched their aggressive hiring strategy.
But Supercell seems unfazed by what is happening at Rovio, and are probably also hoping to build a longer tail on their business, by expanding their brands and products to other areas than physical products. And with Rovio’s recent success with Angry Birds Transformers, which shot to the top slot of the App Store in most countries even after a generally lacking reception of their previous game, Angry Birds Stella, there seems to still be a solid business in both using your own IP in new areas, as well as combining own IP’s with other franchise universes.