Sega Takes Flight with Angry Birds, Rovio Acquisition Shakes Up Gaming Landscape

Sega
(Image: Sega)
In a surprising turn of events, Sega, the famed game company behind the Sonic franchise, has officially become the proud owner of the beloved Angry Birds franchise, following their acquisition of Rovio.

Through their Instagram page, Sega warmly welcomed Rovio to their fold, posting a delightful image featuring the iconic Angry Birds characters side by side with the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog crew.

"We are thrilled to celebrate Rovio joining the SEGA Group. Get ready for exciting adventures ahead!" the Japan-based company declared on Monday (August 21, 2023).

According to reports by Engadget, the Sega Sammy acquisition of Rovio has been valued at a whopping $776 million.

This acquisition deal was initially proposed back in April and had to traverse several rounds of negotiations and regulatory processes. Sega has expressed optimism that this purchase will further bolster their footing in the mobile gaming industry.

Beyond the realm of Angry Birds and its numerous spin-offs, Rovio boasts a diverse portfolio including Sugar Blast, a match-three puzzler, and Small Town Murders.

Of course, one can't help but imagine the potential for crossovers between the iconic characters of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and the beloved personalities of Angry Birds.

Quoting Haruki Satomi, the President and CEO of Sega Sammy Holdings, The Verge reported on Tuesday (April 18, 2023) that the mobile gaming market holds immense potential and has long been a target for Sega's expansion efforts.

Angry Birds, Record-Breaking Feathers

"Among the rapidly growing global gaming markets, the mobile gaming market holds immense potential and has been a long-term goal for Sega to accelerate its expansion in this field," said Satomi.

Tech Crunch reported that Rovio, established in 2003, soared to prominence following the resounding success of the Angry Birds game, which evolved into a franchise encompassing films, TV shows, and toys.

Furthermore, Guinness World Records acknowledged the original Angry Birds game as the first mobile game to achieve one trillion downloads.

In 2017, Rovio went public; however, the company's stocks experienced a decline, hovering around half of their initial IPO value.

Rovio's Dance with Potential Buyers

The Verge highlighted that Rovio had nearly been acquired by Israeli developer Playtika for a proposed $800 million deal. Yet, the negotiations fell through in March.

Gamerant revealed that Playtika was not the sole interested party in acquiring Rovio. Other companies such as EA, Take-Two, Sony, Netflix, and even Disney were rumored by analysts to have contemplated purchasing Rovio.

With this acquisition, Sega seems poised to follow in the footsteps of its rival, Nintendo, by bringing its franchises, like Pokemon and Mario Bros, to the mobile platform.

Sega also expressed its intent to aid Rovio in "expanding its platform beyond mobile gaming."

Sonic Prime Dash, Speeding onto iOS and Android

Notably, Netflix recently launched the latest game titled Sonic Prime Dash. As the name implies, the game features the iconic Sega character, Sonic the Hedgehog.

As reported by CNET on Friday (July 21, 2023), the game was released alongside the second season of the animated series Sonic Prime. Available for both Android and iOS devices, the mobile game is free for Netflix subscribers.

Sonic Prime Dash shares similarities with its predecessor Sonic Dash, which was introduced in 2013. The game continues to offer the endless running concept, reminiscent of the once-popular Temple Run game from a few years ago.

The gameplay mechanics in Sonic Prime Dash remain consistent with its predecessor. Players are tasked with jumping and dodging obstacles and enemies that appear in their path.

Additionally, much like other Sonic games, players must collect rings scattered throughout the game. Although adhering to the same gameplay concept, this game offers a few distinctive features.

The primary distinction lies in the fresh character designs inspired by the Sonic Prime animated series, featuring cybernetic versions of characters such as Tails and Amy Rose.

As players progress and accumulate items to restore the island within the game, new levels are unlocked. Initially, players can choose to play as Sonic, Tails Nine, Rusty Rose, or Boscage Maze Sonic.

As the game advances and more items are collected, other characters from Sonic Prime Dash will become available. This expanded roster includes Classic Sonic, Metal Sonic, Big, Espio, and Rouge.

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