Sega Sammy Holdings, the Japanese video game giant behind the Sonic the Hedgehog character, has agreed to acquire Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish maker of Angry Birds video games, for €706m ($850m). The move is aimed at expanding Sega’s reach in the mobile gaming market, which is projected to reach $263.3bn by 2026. With Rovio’s expertise in mobile gaming, Sega is hoping to bring its current and future titles to a wider global audience.
Rovio Entertainment, which has eight game studios worldwide and about 550 employees, has become a major player in the mobile gaming industry. The company’s flagship product, Angry Birds, was the first mobile game to be downloaded one billion times, and it has also produced two Angry Birds movies. Last year, downloads across Rovio’s portfolio of games reached five billion, reflecting the company’s growing popularity among gamers worldwide.
According to Haruki Satomi, CEO of Sega Sammy Holdings, Rovio’s acquisition is a “blessed transaction” that will help his company accelerate its expansion in the mobile gaming field. The company plans to leverage Rovio’s “distinctive know-how in live service mobile game operation” to bring its own titles to the global mobile gaming market.
Berenberg analyst Edward James believes that Rovio is an attractive asset for Sega because it owns one of the strongest brands in mobile gaming. He also highlighted the value of Rovio’s Beacon mobile gaming platform, which has over 20 years of high-level expertise in live service-mobile game operation in the US and Europe.
Shares in Rovio rose by over 18% following the announcement of the acquisition by Sega. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2023.