Update: And just like that, SEGA has purchased Rovio, the mobile developer behind Angry Birds. The final bid is slightly less than had originally been reported: $775 million. Considering the Finnish firm’s turnover totals about $300 million a year, this deal looks like a snip for the Sonic the Hedgehog publisher.
As we’re all intimately familiar with by now, these acquisitions take a little time to clear, and SEGA’s not expecting the deal to be officially finalised until around the end of September. Unlike certain other takeovers in the industry, however, this one is unlikely to be under too much scrutiny.
It sounds like the Japanese company wants to use Rovio’s expertise to help expand its footprint in the smartphone space: “Through the acquisition, the company aims to take-in Rovio's live-operated mobile game development capabilities and expertise in mobile game operation, to accelerate the development of mobile-compatible and multi-platform-supported version of SEGA’s existing game IPs, thereby strengthening and further accelerating global expansion of SEGA’s game portfolio.”
Obviously this is similar language to what Sony used when it purchased Bungie, so this seems to be a common theme among major publishers right now.
Original Article: Forget about the Angry Birds, as there could be a few Angry Hedgehogs on the horizon – or something. According to the Wall Street Journal, publishing giant and former platform holder SEGA is on the brink of acquiring Angry Birds maker Rovio for $1 billion. The era of industry consolidation continues…
According to “people familiar with the matter”, the Sonic the Hedgehog maker could seal the deal as early as next week, assuming talks don’t collapse between now and then. Obviously the deal will then be subject to approval, but shouldn’t face too much scrutiny.
It’s worth noting that SEGA itself merged with slot-machine company Sammy in 2004, and produces all kinds of amusement products, including arcade games and more. Bringing the Angry Birds brand in-house, which is still popular among certain demographics, does make some sense, then.
Rovio, based in Finland, played a pivotal role in the smartphone gaming boom back in 2009 – but since going public in 2017, hasn’t really been able to find the same kind of success. Angry Birds spawned a couple of movies and a number of spin-offs, but isn’t the titan it once was.
Earlier in the year, the mobile developer was in talks with Israeli publisher Playtika to sell for $800 million, but that deal collapsed. It sounds like SEGA has swooped in with an improved offer, although we’ll still need to wait for the ink to dry next week.