Sega Set To Acquire Angry Birds From Rovio For A Cool $1 Billion
The once highly popular mobile game franchise Angry Birds could have a new owner soon. Reports are saying Sega may be looking to buy Angry Birds game developer Rovio Entertainment for a cool $1 billion.
Rovio Entertainment is a Finnish video game developer founded in 2003 by Helsinki University of Technology students Niklas Hed, Jamo Vakevainen, and Kim Dikert. It is best known for its Angry Birds franchise, which has expanded to include a couple of movies and Angry Birds inspired merchandise. A report from The Wall Street Journal indicates Sega could close the deal on Rovio as early as next week.
This is not the first buyer that has been mentioned for Rovio Entertainment. Israeli developer Playtika was in talks to buy the company for an estimated $800 million, but Rovio stated those talks ended in March of this year.
The Angry Birds franchise has seen two movie renditions, with the first still being the seventh highest-grossing video game movie ever. The 2019 sequel was not able to achieve the same level of success at the box office.
Rovio actually removed the classic Angry Birds game from smartphones earlier this year. The reason given was that it was so popular that it was impacting the success of Rovio's newer and more profitable titles. Those on an iPhone are still able to play Red's First Flight, and Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Friends, and Angry Birds Journey are all still available to download and play on both Android and Apple.
It is important to note that Rovio goes beyond just Angry Birds. It has studios in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Canada, and its subsidiary in Turkey. Each studio has its own mission and focus, according to Rovio's website. Those other endeavors include Puzzle Studio, Darkfire Games, Ruby Games, and the studio in Montreal that is focused on answering how AI and ML play a part in future games and game production.
Big money moves in the mobile gaming industry is not unusual these days. Microsoft has insisted that its attempt to buy Activision-Blizzard-King is more about the mobile aspect, rather than the more focused on Call of Duty franchise. So, it is not hard to see the appeal Rovio has to Sega, especially with a studio that is focused on answering the questions about how AI and ML will move the mobile gaming space forward.
If the Sega deal ends up moving forward, the future of Angry Birds could include the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and other Sega-owned video game characters. Perhaps we could even see the comeback of Crazy Taxi, with angry birds at the wheel.