Sega is buying Rovio, the Finnish video-game company best known for creating Angry Birds, in a €706 million (~$776 million) deal. Though a slew of existing Sega games are available on iOS and Android, like Sonic the Hedgehog, the company is looking to “accelerate its expansion” into mobile gaming.
Buying Rovio will give Sega access to Beacon, its “high-level experience” platform designed to improve and simplify game design, monetization and maintenance. Basically, its the accelerator Sega is looking for to bring it’s current and future titles into the big leagues of mobile gaming. “I feel blessed to be able to announce such a transaction with Rovio, a company that owns Angry Birds, which is loved across the world, and home to many skilled employees that support the company’s industry leading mobile game development and operating capabilities,” Haruki Satomi, President and CEO of Sega Sammy, said in a statement.
Angry Birds truly was the definition of a “phenomenon.” There was a time in the early 2010s when if you asked someone if they were playing Angry Birds, almost everyone said yes. In early 2014, Rovio said the Angry Birds series had surpassed two billion downloads, with 200 million playing the games each month.
Its popularity has certainly dipped in the years since, but that’s not to say Angry Birds disappeared from the world’s consciousness (Rovio has over five billion downloads). A 2015 movie inspired by the game grossed just under $347 million worldwide, though 2019’s ‘The Angry Birds Movie 2‘ dipped to $147.8 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Just last year, Angry Birds returned to the App Store for 99 cents as Rovio Classics: Angry Birds.
Rovio has yet to produce anything close to the success of Angry Birds but, with the deal expected to close “during the third quarter of 2023,” it’ll be interesting to see what comes next.