Sega agrees to buy Angry Birds maker Rovio for $772 million
Can we expect a Sonic and Angry Birds crossover?By Shawn Knight
What just happened? Sonic will soon have some new avian friends to mingle with as Sega has agreed to purchase Angry Birds maker Rovio Entertainment. The Japanese video game giant is paying 9.25 euro per share and 1.48 euro per option for Rovio, which works out to a total of approximately 706 million euro or around $772 million. The purchase price represents roughly a 19 percent premium over Rovio's closing price last Friday but is far from what a sale at an earlier date could have brought.
During the height of Angry Bird madness in 2012, Rovio reportedly turned down a $2 billion acquisition offer from Zynga.
The two sides described the acquisition as a friendly takeover, and one that Rovio's board has already agreed to. Should everything go according to plan, the deal is expected to close later this year.
The Finnish game studio was founded in 2003 as Relude before changing its name to Rovio Mobile a couple of years later. Rovio worked on plenty of games in its early days but its breakout title, Angry Birds, would change the company's trajectory and the course of mobile gaming forever.
The physics-based title debuted just as mobile gaming was starting to take root, and was among the first major titles to experiment with the free-to-play ad-supported model when it was ported to Android. The game's incredible success spawned an entire franchise of games, cartoons, movies, merchandise and more that continues to this day.
The original Angry Birds is one of 12 finalists vying for a spot in the 2023 World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Sega aims to leverage Rovio's expertise in live service mobile game operation through its Beacon service to bring new and existing titles to market. Cross-platform expansion of Rovio games using Sega's know-how is also in the cards, and you can be sure the two sides will trade tips on how to better leverage existing IP for maximum exposure and profit.