Finnish mobile game company Rovio will create around 30 jobs with the opening of a new studio in Barcelona. This will be Rovio’s first office in Southern Europe, which will launch during the first half of 2023.
Rovio is the developer of the popular video game Angry Birds. From the capital of Catalonia, the company will focus on developing and running games that are already on the market.
For this project, Rovio has the support of Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Catalan Government agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness.
The Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, highlighted: "Rovio's commitment to Barcelona is an example of the dynamism that the video games sector is experiencing, which has had a very important growth journey in recent years".
According to Torrent, "we want Catalonia to continue to strengthen its position in Europe as a benchmark in video games and especially mobile games".
For this reason, "from the Government, and especially from Catalonia Trade & Investment, we will continue to work to attract more investments from this area, which allows us to attract creative and highly qualified talent with an impact on the economic development of the country as a whole".
According to Rovio's Senior Director Live Ops, Matthieu Burleraux, "Rovio has ambitious growth plans, and having a presence in Southern Europe substantially expands our hiring potential and makes it easier to tap into a new pool of talent."
"Many locations were considered, but we chose Barcelona because it is a great hub for mobile gaming talent and it is also located in a time zone reasonably close to Finland’s," says Burleraux.
For the new studio in Barcelona, Rovio plans to hire designers, graphic artists, and developers, among other profiles. The studio will specialize in the development of new experiences, levels, and mechanics for video games such as Angry Birds Dream Blast and Angry Birds Friends, in coordination with the company's headquarters in Finland.
Rovio was founded in 2003 and globally has more than 500 employees of around 50 nationalities. Its headquarters are in Espoo (Finland), where it employs 350 people, and it also has studios in Stockholm (Sweden), Copenhagen (Denmark), Montreal, and Toronto (Canada).
Rovio has a subsidiary in Izmir (Turkey), Ruby Games, acquired in 2021. The company has been listed on the stock market since 2017.
Rovio mobile games have accumulated more than 5 billion downloads. The most famous one, Angry Birds, was launched in 2009 and has been evolving ever since.
“Many locations were considered, but we chose Barcelona because it is a great hub for mobile gaming talent and it is also located in a time zone reasonably close to Finland’s”
Matthieu Burleraux, Rovio's Senior Director Live Ops
Catalonia, the video game capital of Europe
According to a study by Catalonia Trade & Investment, Catalonia is the first region in the European Union in foreign investment attraction in the video games sector.
Specifically, in the last five years, Catalonia has attracted 20 new foreign investment projects from international video game studios, which have involved an investment of close to 120 million euros and the creation of almost 900 jobs. The main investing countries in this period (2017-2021) have been the United States, France, Sweden, and South Korea.
In this way, Catalonia has attracted 12.2% of the foreign investment destined for the entire European Union during these five years, and it is positioned as the first region in the EU both in terms of the number of projects and volume of investment in the in video games, ahead of the Amsterdam region (West Netherlands), Ireland, Sweden and the French regions of Bordeaux and Paris.
At the same time, Catalonia is the second region in the EU in terms of the number of jobs created with these foreign investment projects.
Rovio's project joins investments made public recently by other companies in the video game sector, such as Denmark's IO Interactive, which will create 150 new jobs over the next four years at its Barcelona studio.