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Rovio closes London studio after one year

All seven jobs at the new studio were lost

Rovio's London studio will be shut down and all seven of its employees laid off.

The decision to close Rovio London, which has been open for little more than a year, was announced by studio head Mark Sorrell on Twitter. The new office had seven employees, all of whom will be made redundant.

"It's with a heavy heart that I tell you the @rovio London Studio is going to close," Sorell said. "Sad times for us, but I look back with genuine pride at my time with these talented and kind people. Been quite a ride."

Will Luton, an executive producer at Rovio London, also took to Twitter, and described the closure as "very sad news" that affected "myself and six very talented people."

"These really are the most talented people I've ever worked with. And an incredible team," he said. "My 18 months at Rovio has been incredible. First growing Angry Birds 2 as Product Manager, before joining [Mark Sorrell] in setting up Rovio London. I learnt a lot. Have some very happy memories."

In its 2017 fiscal report, Rovio said it had, "decided on a plan that would see its game studio in London closed and the functions of the games business centralized in Espoo and Stockholm. Should the plan be implemented, the operations of the London studio will be discontinued by the end of March and the employment of the seven people working at the London studio will be terminated.

"Rovio plans to utilize the work done at the London studio in the MMO game genre at the Battle studio in Espoo, particularly in real-time player vs. player and team vs. team games (such as Battle Bay)."

GamesIndustry.biz talked to Mark Sorrell about the new studio when it first opened, in January 2017. At the time, Sorrell said its team were not working with the Angry Birds IP, and that its game would not be released until some time in 2019. He also seemed confident that the London studio would not be affected by the company's turbulent financial record in recent years.

"We've really turned a corner in the last year. Our first half results were fantastic," he said. "Rovio's a very different place to work now than when I started 20 months ago."

Last week, Rovio's stock plummeted in value after the Finnish company released a financial forecast for 2018 that was not in line with projections.

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