Sega’s parent company and video game maker, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc. is reportedly in the process of buying Rovio Entertainment, the Finland-based developer behind the ‘Angry Birds’ mobile game franchise, for about $1 billion.
The deal is expected to close early next week provided talks do not break down or drag on, reported The Wall Street Journal on Friday citing people familiar with the matter.
According to a Sega spokesperson, no “final decision” has been taken on any offer and the company is still exploring the best to “enhance its corporate value.”
For those unaware, Rovio Entertainment founded in 2003 in Helsinki, Finland is best known for the Angry Birds franchise. The Angry Birds game series focuses on the eponymous flock of colorful angry birds who try to save their eggs from green-colored pigs.
Further, the first Angry Birds mobile game was released in 2009, which also went on to become the first mobile game to reach one billion downloads. As of last year, Rovio claimed its combined library of games had reached 5 billion downloads.
As per Wikipedia, the popularity of Angry Birds led to many spin-offs; versions of Angry Birds were created for PCs and video game consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters, Angry Birds Toons, a televised animated series, and two films; The Angry Birds Movie and its sequel The Angry Birds Movie 2.
In January 2023, Playtika, the Israeli group behind casino-style online games and shooting simulator 1V1.LOL, had made a preliminary bid to buy Rovio for 683 million euros ($750.96 million). However, the preliminary discussions between Rovio and Playtika ended in March 2023.
“The board of directors of Rovio continues its strategic review, including preliminary non-binding discussions with certain other parties, in order to reach the best possible outcome for Rovio and its shareholders,” Rovio said in a statement last month.
“There can be no assurance that the strategic review and the preliminary non-binding discussions will result in any cash or other tender offer or any other transaction, or the pricing of any such possible transaction.”
It will interesting to see if Sega goes through the deal to purchase Rovio next week. Keep watching this space for more updates!