Gaming companies are still learning the ropes of the stock market, boss of 'Angry Birds' maker says

  • "It will take some time before we all understand how the game needs to be played when you're a public company," Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta said.
  • Rovio's stock price is currently almost 60 percent off a record high it hit in November.
  • Electronic Arts, was hit by bad headlines last year when Wall Street analysts expressed concern over its latest game, "Star Wars Battlefront II."

Gaming firms are "quite new" to the stock market and are still learning "how the game needs to be played," the chief executive of Rovio Entertainment said.

Shares of Espoo, Finland-based Rovio, which created the popular mobile game "Angry Birds" in 2009, debuted on the Helsinki Stock Exchange in October.

Last month, a profit warning from the company saw its share price cut by a third. The stock is currently almost 60 percent off a record high it hit in November.

"It will take some time before we all understand how the game needs to be played when you're a public company, so everybody is happy and gets comfortable with the fact that this is to some extent a volatile market as well," Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta told CNBC in an interview on Monday.

"We are doing our best and we will try to do our best to make sure that we find the right balance with the markets as well."

Levoranta said the firm's focus for 2018 was to improve its existing games, increase user acquisition and introduce new content. She said that the "Angry Birds" brand would continue to be a "big asset" for the company.

"If you look at the gaming market —mobile gaming market — it is highly competitive, there are hundreds of games being launched every day," she said.

"Having a strong brand like 'Angry Birds' definitely helps with the discoverability. It also helps to push the user acquisition costs down."

The firm introduced a new title — completely separate to the "Angry Birds" franchise — called "Battle Bay" last year.

"It's been doing quite OK but there is still quite a lot of potential to unlock in the game," Levoranta said.

Wall Street vs. video games

One of the world's most prominent video game makers, Electronic Arts, was hit by bad headlines last year when Wall Street analysts expressed concern over its latest game, "Star Wars Battlefront II."

People were unhappy with EA's attempts to add so-called micro-transactions — a form of in-game purchasing — late last year. The firm eventually turned off the feature in response to the outrage.

The public relations fiasco dealt a short-term blow to the company's share price, with analysts expressing concern over sales.

In an earnings call last month, EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen revealed that the game had seen lower-than-expected sales in the third quarter.