Electronic Arts has bought the UK-based publisher of Angry Birds, Chillingo, increasing its market leadership on the Apple platform and reaffirming its position as the world’s leading wireless entertainment publisher.
Angry Birds is one of the most popular games on Apple’s iPhone, and the move by EA pushes the second largest U.S. video game publisher deeper into the hot mobile games market.
EA reportedly paid $20 million for the deal, but will not receive the intellectual property rights to Angry Birds, which will remain under Rovio, the Finnish company that developed the game.
Rovio confirmed that it will not be using Chillingo anymore.
Chillingo has published several popular mobile games, but none that have been as successful as Angry Birds which is the number 1 ranking game on Apple’s paid app chart, and allows players to help angry birds destroy pigs with a slingshot. Chillingo also publishes Cut the Rope, developed by ZeptoLab which ranks number 3 on the chart, as well as Predators, a sci-fi game, and iDracula, a shooter game where players are vampire hunters.
Electronic Arts, also owns Medal of Honor and Madden NFL franchises and recently acquired Japanese mobile game developer Ngmoco for US $400.
Research firm Gartner has identified mobile and social games as the fastest growing segments of the video game industry. Gartner has stated that global revenue from mobile gaming will rise 19 percent to more than US $5.6 billion this year, and to US $11.4 billion in 2014.