Sega Sammy Holdings has bought Rovio for £625m ($706m), bringing the global hit game Angry Birds into its portfolio and strengthening its position in mobile gaming.
Sega and Rovio have agreed a deal for the former to acquire the latter for £625m in a move that will strengthen Sega’s position in the gaming industry by bringing Angry Birds into its portfolio, which already includes the powerhouse brand Sonic the Hedgehog.
Reports indicate the deal will also give Sega the ability to bolster its gaming IPs by moving them into the mobile space. The company aims to take-in Rovio’s live-operated mobile game development capabilities and expertise, and use them to accelerate the development of mobile-compatible and multi-platform-supported version of Sega’s existing game IPs, strengthening and further accelerating global expansion of Sega’s game portfolio. Rovio, meanwhile, will benefit by being supported in moving outside of mobile gaming.
Alexandre Pelletier-Normand, CEO of Rovio, said: “I grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog, captivated by its state-of-the-art design. Later, when I played Angry Birds for the first time, I knew that gaming had evolved into a true mainstream phenomenon, with the power to shape modern culture. Joining Rovio has been an honour and I am proud to have seen Angry Birds continue to grow as we released new games, series and films. Less known but equally impressive is our industry-leading proprietary technology platform, Beacon, holding 20 years of expertise, allowing tight-knit teams to develop world-class GaaS products.”
He added: “Our mission is to ‘craft joy’ and we are thrilled at the idea of using our expertise and tools to bring even more joy to our players, enhancing and expanding Rovio’s and Sega’s vibrant IPs. Red and Sonic are two globally recognised and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC/console and beyond. Combining the strengths of Rovio and Sega presents an incredibly exciting future.”
Haruki Satomi, president and group CEO, representative director of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., commented: “Among the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been Sega’s long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field. I feel blessed to be able to announce such a transaction with Rovio, the 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. Historically, as represented by the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sega has released countless video game titles to various gaming platforms. I am confident that, through the combination of both companies’ brands, characters and fanbase, as well as corporate culture and functionality, there will be significant synergies created going forward.”
Although the deal has yet to be formally agreed, a statement from Rovio says: “The Board of Directors of Rovio, represented by a quorum comprising all members of the Board of Directors, has unanimously agreed to recommend that the shareholders and the option holders of Rovio accept the offer.”