Sega snaps up Angry Birds developer Rovio for $776m
The creators of Sonic the Hedgehog have acquired the mobile-first games company
Japanese video game publisher Sega has acquired Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment for £625m (around $776m). The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
Sega says it will use Rovio’s “distinctive know-how in live service mobile game operation” to help create and maximize the success of its future portfolio of mobile titles.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Angry Birds
💰 Sega has agreed to acquire Rovio Entertainment for around $773m
🐥 Rovio Entertainment is the creator of the hit mobile game Angry Birds
📺 Two Angry Birds films were released and the games continue to be popular
🤞 Sega hopes the acquisition will help improve its mobile games
In a press release on Sega’s website, President and chief executive of Sega Sammy Haruki Satomi said: “Among the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been Sega's long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field.
“I feel blessed to be able to announce such a transaction with Rovio, a company that owns Angry Birds, which is loved across the world, and home to many skilled employees that support the company's industry-leading mobile game development and operating capabilities.”
Alexandre Pelletier-Normand, CEO of Rovio added: “I grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog, captivated by its state-of-the-art design. Later, when I played Angry Birds for the first time, I knew that gaming had evolved into a true mainstream phenomenon, with the power to shape modern culture.
“Joining Rovio has been an honour and I am proud to have seen Angry Birds continue to grow, as we released new games, series and films. Less known but equally impressive is our industry-leading proprietary technology platform, Beacon, holding 20 years of expertise, allowing tight-knit teams to develop world-class GaaS products.
“Our mission is to ‘Craft Joy’ and we are thrilled at the idea of using our expertise and tools to bring even more joy to our players, enhancing and expanding Rovio’s and SEGA’s vibrant IPs.”
The Angry Birds games have become synonymous with mobile gaming and Rovio said that the first version of its bird-flinging, pig-popping game was the first mobile title to be downloaded one billion times. Rovio’s games have since surpassed five billion total downloads since 2009.
Rovio has also created two Angry Birds movies, and I can personally vouch for them both. They might not have been as successful as The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which made $37 million more than Disney’s best animated film in one week, but I actually found them to be funnier and more engaging overall (even if they didn’t include a hit song like Jack Black’s ‘Peaches’).
Even though Sega primarily creates video games for consoles like PS5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox Series X, the mobile gaming market continues to be lucrative. The market continues to grow and is expected to grow to $267.46 billion in 2027, according to The Business Research Company.
The mobile gaming market is one of the primary reasons Microsoft is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion, as it believes the publisher’s portfolio and know-how will help it expand Xbox’s offering.
“Players and developers are at the center of Xbox. We want to enable people to play games anywhere, anytime and on any device,” a statement on Microsoft’s webpage reads. “And developers deserve more options to build, distribute and monetize their groundbreaking games. When we do this, we all win. That’s why we’re sharing more on the industry and how our acquisition of Activision-Blizzard fits into our gaming strategy.”
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has finally sided with Microsoft’s claims about Call of Duty, after previously expressing concerns over the deal, but Microsoft still has to gain full approval. The same goes for the FTC, which is suing to block the acquisition,
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