Sega confirmed a rumored acquisition of the Angry Birds mobile game developer, Rovio.
Remember Angry Birds? Sega still does. After rumors late last week, Sega announced today that they will be acquiring Rovio, the developers of the classic smartphone franchise for $775 Million.
Sega Corporation has publicly announced the acquisition of the Crush the Castle clone developer, Rovio. While rumored last week that this acquisition was in production by The Wall Street Journal (though the article was taken down), the news today confirms the nearly $1 billion acquisition of the developers of the early smartphone franchise that spawned two movies, cartoons, a retail store in Beijing, China, and even an unauthorized theme park.
The Finland company, Rovio, is reported to be in the process of being acquired by the Japanese video game company, Sega for a sum of around $775 Million USD. Though specifically, Rovio will become part of SEGA Europe. The deal is expected to go through in September 2023.
In this partnership, Sega is expecting to bring Rovio beyond just mobile gaming. The price of doing this sort of deal comes with quite a sticker shock, to say the least to some, but when Activision purchased the Candy Crush Saga developer, King, Activision paid nearly $6 billion. This acquisition in comparison looks like a discount, but the question is if the Angry Birds still have the same appeal as they did back in 2009.
Recently Rovio has had ventures with into the Games As A Service (GaaS) model, RPGs, match-three puzzle Games, and a so-so kart racer over the years. That hasn't taken away from the tried and true classic Angry Birds game ultimately, even with properties like Darkfire Heroes, Small Town Murders, and the suspiciously candy-themed color-matching mobile game, Sugar Blast.
Yet that hasn't stopped Rovio from continuing to experiment with their bird-flinging simulator franchise. Sega of all companies especially knows when tried and true is the best fallback when experimenting with mascot-kart racers, RPGs, endless runners on mobile, and other series they've strung Sonic through for all these years. So maybe fans of Angry Birds should be relieved that Sega is coming in, as they will always expect to see a return to form when new experiments just aren't working.
Sega expects to grow its mobile gaming by over 56% by 2026, and by acquiring one of the biggest mobile developers and franchises in the world, Sega just might meet that mark. Even Microsoft has cited that a lot of the business reasoning behind acquiring Activision-Blizzard is for King's dominance in the mobile gaming space. As much as the hardcore love to write off mobile games, the value is undeniably jaw-dropping when the financial numbers are shown.
Whether the Angry Birds and Sonic will face off at the Olympics in a crossover game, or Rovio can grow an identity past Angry Birds finally, the future seems a bit brighter for the Finnish development team after this hefty sum.