Sega has announced that it is to acquire mobile development studio Rovio, best known for the Angry Birds series of physics puzzlers. The acquisition is expected to go through in the second quarter of the 2023-24 fiscal year and is valued at several hundred million euros in shares.
Per a press release, Sega will purchase "the entirety of Rovio's outstanding shares and options" at a total value of €706 million (around $775 million). Sega says the acquisition is a "friendly takeover", as Rovio's board has agreed to and expressed support for the offer.
According to Sega, the acquisition is part of shoring up its stake in the "fast-growing mobile and global gaming market". Sega points to Rovio's success with the Angry Birds franchise and "distinctive know-how in live service mobile game operation" as one of the principal reasons for buying the studio, pointing to the mobile market's "large potential" for growth.
So, what's next for Sega and Rovio? Assuming the acquisition goes through (and there's not much cause to believe it won't), Sega intends to "bring Sega's current and new titles to the global mobile gaming market", so we're likely to see more Sega mobile titles, likely developed by Rovio.
In addition, the press release says Rovio intends to "expand its platform outside of mobile gaming", so we can perhaps expect to see more Angry Birds games (and maybe even new Rovio IPs) appearing on platforms other than mobile in the future.
Major gaming companies often acquire mobile studios in order to build their presence in the mobile market. Whether it's Sony buying up mobile developer Savage or Take-Two's then-record-breaking Zynga purchase, big publishers look to mobile studios with experience so that they can build their mobile divisions with expertise on their side.
Doing so makes a lot of sense, too, because the mobile market is absolutely huge. In October 2021, Tencent officially became the owner of the world's first $10 billion mobile game in the form of Honor of Kings, a wildly successful MOBA that's hugely popular in Asia. Even if a mobile game achieves a fraction of that success, doing so would still be a hugely tantalizing prospect for major gaming studios.
Time will tell what the Sega-Rovio deal will yield, so stay tuned for more on this as soon as we get it.