Angry Birds Is About To Be Bought By Sega For $1 Billion

Sega plans to buy Angry Birds for $1 billion, which is surprising because the mobile game's popularity has decreased drastically since its initial release.

By Jason Collins | Updated

angry birds

After murdering Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega stated that it is trying to buy Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment for a whopping $1 billion. The gaming giant that dropped out of the hardware race has been buying all sorts of software licenses left and right, including the iconic Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War gaming franchise—which is likely to turn into a series starring Henry Cavill—and apparently, it has its eye on the Angry Birds franchise.

According to The Verge, the $1 billion sum coming from Sega is a bit surprising, considering the declining popularity of the Angry Birds gaming franchise—the original game was the first ever mobile gaming release to be downloaded one billion times. Rovio Entertainment had massive success with the franchise, which eventually spun two animated adaptations. However, once the gaming market became more competitive around 2014, the popularity of Angry Birds decreased, and Rovio shifted its focus to other areas. So, how Sega plays into all of this?

Ever since the company lost its hardware race in 2001, Sega’s main focus has been software, and the company has acquired a great number of IPs whose popularity has declined over the years. The list is quite extensive, but some of the most prominent gaming franchises include the aforementioned Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War series, Total War gaming series, Persona developer and publisher Altus, and Sports Interactive, which developed the Football Manager game. Most of these franchises have been revitalized, so it’s possible that Sega’s planning the same for Angry Birds.

The official report states that Sega’s looking to leverage Rovio Entertainment’s expertise in creating mobile games. Apart from smartphone gaming, which is but a fraction of the market, handhelds are also an option, and Nintendo Switch currently reigns supreme—though some reports suggest that Sony’s preparing its own handheld, the successor to the still-popular PS Vita. Whether or not those specific reports are true remains to be seen, but it’s quite possible that Sony’s diversifying its gaming portfolio in case Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard goes through.

You don’t really keep all your eggs in one basket, and Sega did a wonderful job with various acquisitions of nearly-forgotten properties, such as Angry Birds. If the company’s truly looking to hit mobile gaming, Rovio’s expertise will more than likely come in handy. And then, there’s a question of movies and cinematic adaptations; previous reports suggest that Sega’s adapting two strange games into movies.

There’s also a distinct possibility that the company is looking to profit from animated adaptations as well, especially after Sonic’s massive movie success.

However, Sega’s officially stated that it expects mobile gaming to grow to 56 percent of the overall gaming market by 2026, so the company’s acquisition of the Angry Birds developer and its push into mobile gaming isn’t all that surprising. Sony’s planning to increase its focus to mobile games as well, or so the company said in its last report that, concerned the fate of PlayStation 4 and its entry into the PC gaming market with future releases.