Chart of the Week: Is Angry Birds Ready for an IPO?

As Rovio prepares for its anticipated IPO later this month, speculation has swirled around the $1.1 billion projected valuation of the company, which represents just half the value of what the company was rumored to be worth last month. While last year saw several high-profile, multi-billion dollar mobile gaming acquisitions (including the Tencent/Supercell and Activision/Blizzard/King deals), 2017 has been a relatively quiet year. And while Rovio’s pending IPO could signal the next uptick in the gaming sector, the company’s flagship Angry Birds franchise has struggled in the face of increased competition from the likes of Supercell’s Clash of Clans and King’s Candy Crush series. So how does Rovio stack up to its fellow mobile gaming giants?

Which Version of Angry Birds Is Winning the Most Users?

Angry Birds is one of the older casual games franchises around – the original Angry Birds title launched in 2009, compared to the first iterations of Clash of Clans or Candy Crush, which both launched in 2012. Since then, Rovio has released more than dozen other Angry Birds spinoffs, including Angry Birds Star Wars (2012) and Angry Birds 2 (2015). With such a wide variety of titles, which version of Angry Birds is still attracting the most users, and how does that stack up to the competition?

According to Verto Watch data, the original Angry Birds and Angry Birds 2 are the franchise’s two most popular titles based on number of monthly unique users (among U.S. adults, ages 18 and above). In July 2017, Angry Birds attracted just over 2 million unique users, and Angry Birds 2 attracted almost 1.4 million unique users. But there’s also evidence that Rovio may be cannibalizing its own audience: some of the least popular Angry Birds titles, such as Angry Birds Star Wars II and Angry Birds Epic each claimed less than a quarter million monthly unique users in July 2017.

More troubling is the fact that even the most successful Angry Birds titles still lag well behind flagship offerings from their biggest rivals: Verto Watch data shows that King’s Candy Crush Saga had 10.2 million monthly unique users in July 2017, and Supercell’s Clash of Clans reported 5.6 million monthly unique users during the same period. King and Supercell have exercised greater restraint in rolling out expansions or sequels to their existing mobile games franchises; Candy Crush has a handful of sequels (including Candy Crush Soda Saga, which attracted 6.9 million monthly unique users in July 2017), while Clash of Clans has just one spinoff, Clash Royale. Is a smaller, more carefully edited catalogue of game titles a better bet for mobile game companies? Supercell was valued at over $10 billion at the time of their acquisition last year, while the King deal nearly hit $6 billion. Rovio’s $1 billion valuation heading into its IPO seems like a weak showing in comparison.

Where did we get the data for this Chart of the Week? Learn more about Verto Watch, our on-demand data portal. Interested in learning more about our insights on mobile games? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest content.