LightTrends Newsletter

Slow 5G rollouts and a flawed business model are why the Angry Birds did not Hatch!

February 2021

February 2, 2021

Simply stated because Rovio could not find a path for success, or the path was too narrow. On December 31, 2020, Angry Birds maker Rovio quietly shut down Hatch, a mobile cloud gaming service launched by Rovio subsidiary Hatch Entertainment in 2016 with the ambition of becoming the “Netflix or Spotify of cloud gaming.” 5G is not to blame for this failure. Technically, Hatch was launched as a mobile-based streaming service but the arrival of 5G in 2019 led the executive team to rework the business rhetoric and place a big bet on 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) with a cloud gaming marketing approach.

But due to a flawed business model, Hatch ultimately failed, despite the technical fact that the platform was working fine on 4G LTE. From a technical standpoint, things looked sound: Hatch developed its own proprietary technology to optimize streaming over mobile networks, specifically for mobile devices. We were told that on a LTE network, the Hatch app only needed a speed of 1.5Mbps per stream and a latency in the dozens of milliseconds. It did not need 5G performances.

Well, Rovio blames the failure on intensified competition in the game streaming market and slower than expected 5G rollouts, which is in stark contrast to us, in the mobile industry, reporting robust 5G deployments worldwide in the middle of a pandemic. Even more so when Hatch was already struggling in 2019: the cloudy outlook disoriented the Angry Birds!

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