Japanese video game giant Sega is reportedly close to acquiring Finnish mobile game developer Rovio Entertainment, best known for creating the popular mobile game Angry Birds, for a whopping $1 billion.
The news, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Friday, is expected to be finalized by early next week, assuming all goes well.
While Rovio has had tremendous success with Angry Birds, the company has struggled to replicate the same success with its other games, such as Darkfire Heroes and Small Town Murders.
Sega, on the other hand, has a long and storied history of creating iconic games for consoles and arcades, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakuza, Persona, and Total War. They are also active in the mobile gaming space with titles like Sonic Dash and Sega Forever.
By acquiring Rovio, Sega would be able to expand its presence in the lucrative mobile market and tap into Rovio’s expertise and intellectual property. If it pushes through, the deal would be a major consolidation in the gaming industry, which has seen several billion-dollar acquisitions in recent years. Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, Sony has merged with Bungie for $3.6 billion, and Take-Two Interactive has acquired Zynga for $12.7 billion.
Mobile gaming has proven to be an attractive market for publishers due to its large and growing audience, as well as the steady revenue stream from in-app purchases and ads. At the time of this article, Sega nor Rovio has officially confirmed the deal yet. We will keep you posted.