Rovio Leisure, the Finnish-founded studio behind the Offended Birds video games, has agreed to its buy by Japanese gaming large Sega. Sega Sammy Holdings can pay $776 million (€706m / £625m) for the acquisition, which incorporates all eight of Rovio’s world studios, and it is shopping for the corporate to “strengthen its place” in cellular gaming, which has at all times been Rovio’s principal focus.

Rovio is called the Offended Birds studio as a result of, properly, it hasn’t had one other hit on the identical scale. Later titles like The Croods, Nibblers and Retry loved reasonable success in some circumstances, however nothing just like the grumpy avians. Offended Birds was launched in 2009, as a paid app, and over the primary six months of launch grew to become a word-of-mouth viral smash, ultimately hitting the #1 spot on the App Retailer. By mid-2012 it had been downloaded over a billion instances (Rovio claims it was the primary game to succeed in such a milestone).

Rovio has launched dozens of Offended Birds video games, together with direct sequels and the likes of Offended Birds Star Wars, in addition to two Offended Birds films. It went public in 2017 with a valuation of round $1 billion, and the cheaper price paid by Sega arguably displays this lack of ability to ship one other standalone success (even when Offended Birds by itself stays massively common and worthwhile). Sega however reckons the cellular market will likely be value $263.3bn by 2026, and characterize 56% of the whole video games {industry}.

“Among the many quickly rising world gaming market, the cellular gaming market has particularly excessive potential, and it has been SEGA’s long-term objective to speed up its enlargement on this area,” mentioned Sega Sammy Group CEO Haruki Satomi. “I really feel blessed to have the ability to announce such a transaction with Rovio, an organization that owns ‘Offended Birds’, which is cherished internationally, and residential to many expert workers that assist the corporate’s {industry} main cellular game improvement and working capabilities.”

“I grew up taking part in Sonic the Hedgehog, captivated by its state-of-the-art design,” added CEO of Rovio Alexandre Pelletier-Normand. “Later, after I performed Offended Birds for the primary time, I knew that gaming had developed into a real mainstream phenomenon, with the ability to form trendy tradition.

“Becoming a member of Rovio has been an honour and I’m proud to have seen Offended Birds proceed to develop, as we launched new video games, collection and movies. Much less identified however equally spectacular is our industry-leading proprietary know-how platform, Beacon, holding 20 years of experience, permitting tight-knit groups to develop world-class GaaS merchandise.”

Pelletier-Normand ends by evaluating Pink, the primary character in Offended Birds, and Sonic the Hedgehog as “two globally acknowledged and iconic characters made by two remarkably complementary firms, with a worldwide attain.” Unsure I might essentially agree, however probably we’ll be catapulting Sonic into Robotnik gadgets on our telephones earlier than lengthy.

Rovio’s board has accredited the deal, which is for the complete firm and values it at EUR 9.25 per share and EUR 1.48 per choice, and the pleasant takeover is anticipated to shut by the tip of this yr.