The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…
So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.
Sega buys Rovio for €706 million
While M&A deals seemed to be starting slowly at the beginning of the year, we are now finally seeing a turnaround. We had Savvy acquiring Scopely, and now Sega is set to buy Rovio for $775 million. The price is lower than the initial $1 billion that was rumoured but still more than Playtika's declined offer just last month.
It's no surprise to me seeing Rovio being acquired, but Sega wasn't the name I expected. Despite that, it actually makes a lot of sense. The obvious standout is the fact that both share big IPs that have seen major success, not just within games but outside with movies and merchandise. The multimedia angle is something that will surely generate a healthy revenue, but I also think the major win here is the acquisition of talent. Rovio has experience in mobile and live ops, something that Sega simply hasn't mastered...Yet.
The deal makes a lot of sense for Sega but also Rovio, who has struggled to reignite the Angry Birds magic, but now there's potential to bring those birdies over to console or PC. Overall the deal feels like a good fit, but time will tell if that's the case. The big question now is of course, who’s next?
1 great night, 22 winners: The Mobile Game Awards reveals 2023’s mobile standouts
It’s the big one. The night that the mobile games industry gets to kick back for once and share the love that powers the most vibrant and creative gaming space there is. The Mobile Games Awards last night were once again a shining showcase of all the great and the good and a beacon of positivity in what’s been an annual season of uncertainty.
But look beneath the surface figures and there’s an obvious trend that’s only on the up. Not only in terms of raw numbers, downloads, earnings and all the other metrics we sweat about but also in the ambition, new ideas and drive behind the scenes to make it all happen. Last night proved that while 2022 is numerically, technically ‘down’, the mobile games industry is actually anything but.
Long term trends only show stability, potential and improvement and worriers simply need to take off the reality-altering distortion field of Covid goggles and keep their eyes on what’s really happening. To all the folks on board - the real gamers out there - we thank you for keeping the past year performing. Now let’s get to business and make 2023 great.
Aquiris to become Epic Games Brasil
This really interested me, mainly due to the fact that it shows an increased attention on the video game business in Brazil. The country’s always had a vibrant pop-culture presence worldwide, but very little of that has translated into supporting the game industry there. So Epic putting their money into Aquiris to bring it into their family is an important step.
Of course, it may be a little disappointing to some that they’re relegated to supporting Fortnite, but at the same time this is inarguably Epic’s biggest cash cow and they need all the supporting studios they can on it. Not only that but Aquiris existing mobile experience will hopefully translate well to this sort of work - and it doesn’t discount them continuing to support their own games in the meantime or developing new titles.
A lot like Turkiye, I think Brazil is a country that will really reach its full potential if it can make game development an appealing and practical career. With outside investment flowing in, becoming a developer or starting a publishing company becomes not just feasible, but lucrative. Especially for mobile, with such a massive audience in LatAm, it’s another potential goldmine for companies inside and outside.