Sega acquires Angry Birds creator Rovio for €706 million
by Danny Craig ·
Sega announced on April 17 that it has agreed to purchase Rovio, the company behind the popular Angry Birds franchise, for €703 million ($775 million).
- Sega has confirmed the acquisition of Rovio, which had been rumored last week. Sega intends to use Rovio's expertise to expand further into the mobile market, while Rovio intends to do the opposite, utilizing Sega's knowledge of external platforms. Since 2000, Sega has released numerous new titles and mobile ports, including the Sega Forever service, which offers free-to-play re-releases of beloved games with the option to pay to remove in-game ads.
- Angry Birds, Rovio's biggest mobile hit, has spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, two feature-length films, multiple TV series, and an assortment of merchandise. Rovio had created 51 mobile games before the creation of the first entry, all of which were mostly unsuccessful before the company decided to switch from the aging Java ME platform to the new mobile market on smartphones. Rovio recently released a new version of the first Angry Birds game titled "Rovio Classics: Angry Birds" in 2022, years after the original was delisted. This is now known as "Red's First Flight" following backlash following the announcement of its delisting in February 2023, "due to the game's impact on [Rovio's] wider games portfolio.”
- In January, Israeli mobile publisher Playtika made an offer to acquire Rovio for €683 million ($750.96 million); however, Rovio confirmed that talks had ended in March. Analysts at Nordea, a Nordic financial services group, speculated that Electronic Arts (EA), Take-Two Interactive, Sony, Netflix, and Disney could be among the interested buyers at the time.
Recent gaming acquisitions:
- Savvy Gaming Group, a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has announced its acquisition of mobile publisher Scopely for $4.9 billion. Scopely’s revenue from mobile releases totaled $92.2 billion, which equates to 50% of the overall gaming market worldwide.
- Atari paid $10 million for System Shock developer Nightdive Studios in March, half in cash and half in Atari stock, with another $10 million to be paid out over the next three years based on the studio's performance. Wade Rosen, Atari's CEO and Chairman, had previously purchased a 13% stake in the company through a separate company.