It's Official: Sega Is Acquiring Angry Birds Maker Rovio

Late last week, rumors emerged that Japanese gaming giant Sega was eyeing an acquisition of Rovio, the studio behind the mobile hit "Angry Birds." Today, the two companies have officially confirmed the deal. Sega has announced that it is acquiring the entire slate of Rovio's assets priced at EUR 9.25 per share towards a deal valued at EUR 706 million, which translates to around $775 million based on the current conversion rates. The acquisition deal is expected to finalize by the end of 2023's second quarter following clearance of "certain customary conditions," including antitrust and local regulatory formalities.

With the Rovio acquisition, which has over 5 billion downloads driven by the "Angry Birds" series of games, Sega is also trying to make inroads on the mobile turf. The Japanese company says it will leverage Rovio's "know-how in live service mobile game operation to bring SEGA's current and new titles to the global mobile gaming market." 

Conversely, Sega aims to push Rovio's most popular products beyond the confines of the mobile gaming ecosystem. The two companies have plans to venture further into the entertainment segment with more screen adaptations and merchandising.

A race that extends beyond gaming dough

The all-cash deal between Sega and Rovio marks yet another major gaming acquisition with a hot fanbase and vibrant opportunities in the entertainment segment. Sega's Sonic is already a gaming phenomenon. After capturing a solid fanbase with animated content targeted at children, the Japanese company also helped develop two "Sonic the Hedgehog" series films that made quite some splash at the box office, while a third one is in the pipeline and a spin-off series based on the hot-headed Knuckles character is also on the table. Rovio's animation division, meanwhile, has already released two Angry Birds films and multiple animated series from the same franchise.

The two brands are giants in their own way, but this is far from the most significant gaming adjacent deal in recent times. Sony acquired Halo and Destiny creator Bungie for approximately $3.6 billion, and Take-Two forked over more than $12 billion to buy Zynga, the maker of the FarmVille series games. 

Microsoft paid over $75 billion to acquire Activision Blizzard last year, but that deal has run into regulatory hot waters. Notably, both Microsoft and Sony are locking horns over the deal while also trying to milk money from the sheer entertainment content potential like films and TV series of the IPs they now control following their respective acquisitions.