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Sega Adds Angry Birds Maker Rovio to Its Nest in Latest Video Game Industry Acquisition

Sega to Purchase Angry Birds Maker Rovio

The weekend rumor that Sega was set to purchase Rovio, the mobile publisher behind the Angry Birds franchise, has now been confirmed. That’s right, Red and the gang now belong in the same stable as Sonic the Hedgehog — which could be promising for all manner of anthropomorphic hi-jinx in the years to come. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though; there’s no evidence that either company has plans for such wild crossovers.

What we know for certain is that the deal will see two very different titans unifying, not unlike the merger between Activision Blizzard and Candy Crush publisher King back in 2015. In this case, the rationale for the deal is that it will support the growth ambitions of both Sega and Rovio. While Sega is looking to develop its expertise in live-service mobile games, Rovio wants to expand into the PC and console sphere. Meanwhile, both will share their learnings in expanding their franchises beyond gaming to film, animation, and merchandising.

The rumors had pegged the deal to be in the vicinity of $1 billion, but the actual figures involved are slightly more modest at $775 million. The deal will close in Q2 of FY2023/2024 if all goes to plan, and it’s worth noting that it’s unlikely to hit anything like the roadblocks that have surrounded Microsoft’s still-pending acquisition of Activision.

It’s an interesting — but perhaps expected — move from Sega. Pundits have long viewed the Japanese publishing giant as an acquisition target in the arms race that’s seen the likes of Bungie, Gearbox, and, of course, Activision snapped up. A more diverse portfolio is likely to make Sega less appealing as a strategic acquisition target, though that’s not to say a bigger fish wouldn’t still see value in it. Either way, it’s a sign that the M&A market in the gaming industry hasn’t been fully cooled off by the glacial pace of the Microsoft/Activision saga, and that anything can still happen.

About the author

Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.