Two lead Angry Birds leave to start their own game studio in Finland

AngryBirds
AngryBirds

Angry Birds has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 700 million downloads. So it’s no small event that two of the leaders who created the mobile game are leaving the nest at Rovio to form their own game studio.

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Antti Stén (pictured left), the lead server architect for the original Angry Birds, and Tuomas Erikoinen (pictured right), lead artist, have left Rovio to create a new game studio called Boomlagoon, based in Helsinki, Finland. The move isn’t surprising, since you can expect successful creators to strike out on their own and try to do some original work while Rovio continues to exploit the Angry Birds franchise.

“We know a thing or two about successful games and high volumes and we’ll use this knowledge to spawn something very cool and new,” Stén said.

Stén is chief executive while Erikoinen is chief creative officer. Both men played important parts in the creation of Angry Birds. Stén was responsible for building the server infrastructure to support millions of mobile users. And Erikoinen was the lead artist for Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, and he supervised the production of Angry Birds Space. During the time when they worked on the project, Rovio grew from 12 people to more than 300.

They’ve dreamed about running their own company for a long time. The idea started during a poker game and then once again over a drink. So far, the team consists of just the pair of founders. But they plan to hire more people. Stén refers to himself as Mr. Plan and to Erikoinen as Mr. Action. They want to create “convivial and intriguing” games.

“Through our experience of seeing multiple startups, we’ve gained the necessary skill set for founding and running a company with high values on all departments of the company,” Stén said. “Our core skills are in game development but we’ve also had the opportunity to study fields such as PR, branding, recruitment, business negotiations, leading teams, HR, and networking.”

The goal will be to create games for just about any device, both for the web and mobile platforms. They will start with HTML5, the new lingua franca for the web. Their studio will be in Helsinki and they have not raised any money yet. They are looking for potential investors.

“If we play our cards right we just might end up with the next Angry Birds,” Stén said.

Photo credit: Boomlagoon

This article appeared first as an exclusive leak in VentureBeat, our editorial partner in the Valley.

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