Rovio Entertainment’s profitability improved by roughly 75% in the first quarter of 2018, thanks largely to record revenue from its top game Angry Birds 2 and a strong performance for Angry Birds Friends.
The Finnish company’s games segment revenue rose by 0.4% to US$67 million in Q1, while the publisher’s overall revenue dipped by 0.9% to US$78 million.
As for brand licensing, Rovio’s revenue declined by 8.8% to US$11 million, following a larger 53% decline in Q4 to US$9 million. The company expects to see its brand licensing segment fall by 40% this year due to the declining profile of The Angry Birds Movie, but is looking ahead as it prepares the licensing portfolio for next year’s sequel, The Angry Birds Movie 2. The first Angry Birds movie helped Rovio’s licensing unit’s partners sell 260 million licensed products in 2016 and 150 million in 2017.
Rovio also estimates that it will invest US$12 to US$18 million this year in Hatch Entertainment, the company’s cloud streaming-based game service subsidiary. The mobile gaming service is currently available as a beta test version in 18 European countries and offers more than 100 mobile games.
As for additional innovation, the company recently released Angry Birds on Facebook Messenger’s new instant games platform, and partnered with mixed-reality startup Magic Leap to develop new augmented reality (AR) applications.
Rovio forecasts its 2018 revenue to be somewhere between US$307 and US$354 million compared to US$350 million in 2017.