Strong performances from its games business and The Angry Birds Movie helped drive Finland-based Rovio Entertainment’s Q2 revenues up by 94% to US$101 million.
Rovio’s game division revenue increased by 65% to US$72 million, compared to US$44 million in Q2 2016. The lift was mainly driven by the successful Q2 launches of two new mobile games—multiplayer online battle arena title Battle Bay (pictured) and free-to-play action role-playing game Angry Birds Evolution. In the company’s quarterly statement, CEO Kati Levoranta reported that the two new games delivered the strongest launch earnings ever seen in Rovio’s games unit.
Rovio declared its move into multiplayer online games and new IP beyond its flagship Angry Birds brand in January, and marked the occasion with the launch of a new London-based studio.
For its overall games portfolio, Rovio’s Q2 revenue growth was driven by a 30% boost in monthly paying users and a 51% increase in revenue per monthly paying user.
As for brand licensing, revenue from The Angry Birds Movie and the announcement of a sequel helped drive the division’s sales up by 242.6% to US$29 million, compared to US$9 million in Q2 last year. Since its release in May 2016, The Angry Birds Movie has grossed nearly US$350 million at the global box office. (Rovio secured a licensing, production and distribution deal in Q2 with Columbia Pictures for an Angry Birds movie sequel slated for September 2019.)
During the second quarter, the company also finalized its restructuring and moved toward a licensing strategy of lower operating and capital expenses in the consumer products and animated content businesses. The benefits of the changes, however, aren’t reflected in Rovio’s financial performance in the first half of 2017, which saw revenue increase by 94.3% to US$179 million versus US$92 million in 2016′s half-year period.
Rovio’s strong second quarter follows speculation that it’s looking to raise roughly US$400 million for an initial public offering that could value the company at US$2 billion.
The company’s 2017 success follows a return to profitability in 2016, following periods of uncertainty in 2015 that resulted in hundreds of layoffs.