Rovio: What's the big deal and why did Sega buy them?

It's the big money deal that has set the mobile gaming world talking. But just what's in it for both parties?

Date Type Companies involved Size
April 17th, 2023 Rovio
Rovio: What's the big deal and why did Sega buy them?

Now that Sega's acquisition of Rovio is official and in progress Sega’s management have released further comments on the deal and why Rovio is the perfect fit for spearheading a huge ¥250 billion ($1.8 billion) in investment spending between now and 2026.

It appears that the acquisition of the Angry Birds’ maker’s mobile empire was driven by three specific ‘wins’ for Sega - a company seeking to expand in mobile - that truly sealed the deal. In fresh commentary from the company they are listed as being:

Utilization of Rovio’s distinctive know-how in live service mobile game operation, to bring Sega's current and new titles to the global mobile gaming market, where there is large potential, and many users can be accessed. The quote being that “Sega strongly believes Rovio’s platform, Beacon, holds 20 years of high-level expertise in live service-mobile game operation centered around the United States and Europe.”

Rapid expansion of both companies’ fanbase by sharing know-how regarding multi-media expansion of global characters. “Rovio and SEGA have both succeeded in extending its IPs, Angry Birds and Sonic the Hedgehog, to various media outside of video games, such as movies, anime, and merchandising, and accordingly hold a strong fanbase around the world as well as know-how regarding IP expansion.”

Support cross-platform expansion of Rovio’s IP using Sega’s capabilities. “Rovio is aiming to expand its platform outside of mobile gaming, and Sega will actively look to support this process through its capabilities”

Spelt out in such plain terms it's easy to see why Sega pushed the deal ahead and having openly sought a buyer in the past (including protracted and unsuccessful negotiations with the likes of Playtika) why finding a home with Sega feels like such a good fit for a company that as yet has failed to expand beyond its Angry Birds empire.

A match made in heaven

Meanwhile management at both Sega and Rovio have stepped up to endorse the deal.

Haruki Satomi, President and Group CEO, Representative Director of Sega Sammy Holdings said “Among the rapidly growing global gaming market, the mobile gaming market has especially high potential, and it has been Sega’s long-term goal to accelerate its expansion in this field. I feel blessed to be able to announce such a transaction with Rovio, a company that owns “Angry Birds”, which is loved across the world, and home to many skilled employees that support the company’s industry leading mobile game development and operating capabilities.

“Historically, as represented by the Sonic the Hedgehog series, Sega has released countless video game titles to various gaming platforms. I am confident that, through the combination of both companies’ brands, characters, fanbase, as well as corporate culture and functionality, there will be significant synergies created going forward.”

Alexandre Pelletier-Normand, CEO of Rovio comments “I grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog, captivated by its state-of-the-art design. Later, when I played Angry Birds for the first time, I knew that gaming had evolved into a true mainstream phenomenon, with the power to shape modern culture.

“Joining Rovio has been an honour and I am proud to have seen Angry Birds continue to grow, as we released new games, series and films. Less known but equally impressive is our industry-leading proprietary technology platform, Beacon, holding 20 years of expertise, allowing tight-knit teams to develop world-class GaaS products.

“Our mission is to ‘Craft Joy’ and we are thrilled at the idea of using our expertise and tools to bring even more joy to our players, enhancing and expanding Rovio’s and SEGA’s vibrant IPs.

“Red and Sonic the Hedgehog: two globally recognized and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary companies, with a worldwide reach that spans mobile, PC/console, and beyond. Combining the strengths of Rovio and SEGA presents an incredibly exciting future.”

Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.