Rovio Entertainment, founded in 2003, is an industry-changing entertainment media company and creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release and is now the number one downloaded app of all time. Rovio has launched numerous chart-topping games for different platforms. Rovio has grown alongside Angry Birds, and the multifaceted entertainment house currently employs about 800 professionals across it’s offices around the world:
The Stockholm studio aims to surprise and delight our fans, just as the whole of Rovio Games unit. We are passionate about games and entertainment, and we’re all about creating new ideas and concepts that will develop to world leading brands. The culture is very open-minded, working with flat and empowered teams.
On Rovio Stockholm Diversity Culture
One of the opportunities I saw when given the chance to build a new studio from scratch was to grow the kind of culture I wanted. It concerns how we approach each other day to day, how we build games, what we want to achieve etc. This of course includes diversity at the workplace. A company can have any number of documentation and external PR stunts to say you strive towards diversity, but what really matters is what’s in the walls, how the leadership acts day to day and the actions every employee is taking. One example is what Netlight Consulting has done for recruiting women that I admire. They took real action with real outcome of moving the number of new recruits from 10% to 30% women.
By and large I think we’ve achieved something really good here. From the feedback I’ve got we certainly have one of the most open, tolerant and accepting studio cultures out there. We embrace differences, we’re curious about new things and we don’t judge based on who you are. We also have a quite broad sense of what’s considered normal, in fact we like to question the common norms in society quite often. One example is when a guy comes in make-up or in a dress the initial comment from colleagues has been “What a nice dress!” as opposed to “Why the dress?”. See the difference in mindset? It’s way more accepting than most places. We are also very conscious about what message our games have, that they are also inclusive in as many ways as possible, that we don’t reinforce unhealthy norms. We have worked on numerous concepts and thrown away many of them for different reasons. One of many reasons have been when we see a project developing in a direction that goes against our values we’ve either changed it (if possible) or abandoned it completely. That’s how important it is for us.
The internal jargon doesn’t exclude certain groups of people, and while we’re very playful we also have a very responsible way of speaking to each other. We’re also brutally honest and transparent in our communication, but still respectful at the same time. No one is perfect of course, we have our share of issues as well. For one we don’t live up to this mindset all of the time, sometimes someone slips something that is inappropriate. The openness and transparency can also lead to uncomfortable situations, so it’s important to be able to present and receive honest feedback in a civilised manner. It’s also important that we handle indifferences swiftly. But overall I think this is the best culture to have in the long run, it’s the only sustainable culture and it creates a great atmosphere!
// Patrick Liu, Creative Director