Publisher augments its mobile gaming arm by picking up iOS specialist Chillingo; Reuters puts purchase price at $20 million.
Casual game companies have been the target of a number of high-profile acquisitions in the last year. Shortly after laying off 1,500 employees last year, EA announced that it had purchased Pet Society developer Playfish in a deal worth up to $400 million. In July, Disney pounced on Playdom for a figure that could exceed $700 million, and more recently, Japanese social gaming company DeNA bought out Ngmoco for $400 million.
Now, one more big-name casual game company has come and gone on the auction block, as EA confirmed for GameSpot today that it has purchased British publisher Chillingo. Though terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, a source told Reuters that EA paid $20 million for the company. EA declined to comment on Chillingo's purchase price.
"By acquiring Chillingo, EA Mobile is increasing its market leadership on the Apple Platform, as well as reaffirming its position as the world's leading wireless entertainment publisher," an EA spokesperson told GameSpot. "EA remains committed to preserving Chillingo's independence and letting them continue to manage and cultivate their great network of relationships with independent developers."
Chillingo is perhaps best known as the publisher of Finnish studio Rovio's Angry Birds, which has sold more than 6.5 million units on the App Store since its December 2009 launch. The publisher has also found substantial success with ZeptoLab's Cut the Rope. Last week, Chillingo announced that Cut the Rope had sold more than 1 million units on the App Store in less than 10 days, a record for the mobile service.
Chillingo also produces the Crystal software development kit, which helps indie studios capitalize on the free-to-play, microtransaction-based business model. The Crystal SDK currently supports iOS platforms, as well as Adobe Flash.
i dont think that game was worrth spending 20 million dollers for the publisher though. i mean it looks cute but basically a 2dish game that i imagine didnt cost a TON of money to make so why throw 20 million basically to "have" the publisher? thats crazy......
my friend told me about this game today and i must say its addictive. I was actually surprised that a game of this quality was free. At least its free on Android dont know about the iphone.
Oh... They're a publisher... So basically EA bought a company in order to build relationships with mobile games developers and attempt to bring quality mobile games to their library?
... and when I think major dev/publishing all in one big dog on the block, I think Blizzard Entertainment. They're not perfect, but they're stressing quality releases over quantity which gets them pretty close. When I think innovation, I think Valve.
EA is simply a massive game publishing company that focuses on branding and marketing to the masses. Nothing wrong with that, there's a place for those kinds of companies. The quality of the titles is usually good, but for that you have to mostly look at the developer. Sure a publisher will pressure a developer and pull strings, but generally speaking they're just taking care of all the overhead associated with a major release.
Just as long as they don't make an "angry birds hd" for iPad and charge and extra $10 for it (not that i own an iPad) or charge us for updates or "dlc" it doesn't matter.
Angry Birds on Android is free, and Im loving it! (But now that EA has purchased them I doubt there will be any more freebies)
This is great news, but I just hope EA doesn't charge a bunch for a digital game. I enjoy the game for a couple bucks, but for $10? No thanks. I'd rather play Game Dev Story.
EA is such a great company and its good that they are buying these other companies. EA's games are awesome.
EA is getting better in my opinion. Look at Dead Space 1,2. Enough said, they are a respectable powerhouse, unlike Activision.
Chillingo made alot of funny games besides Angry Birds, this is definitely a good investment... but sadly it's EA... luckily it isn't Activision :P
Angry Birds is a good for wasting time when your taking a crap, thats about it. Thankfully it was free on Android last week, not sure if it still is.
@dark_surge, Chillingo has published plenty of other App Store hits, like Predator, Zen Bound, iDracula, Monster Mayhem, Minigore, SEED, Guerilla Bob, Toki Tori, even a game based on the show Numb3rs. With a catalog like that, I'm sure EA was more than willing to spend $20M.
I don't mean to sound mean, but although Angry Birds was a relatively fun game, I don't think it was fun enough to warrant EA throwing 20 million dollars at them. That's a big gamble on their part. Also, I hope they don't expect to get those same sales with console releases. Either way, congrats to Chillingo for being 20 million richer. Bet they didn't see that one coming. :)
I hope this acquisition provides the developers with additional tools as well as networking capabilities to further develop other products and services. Though contrary to our own views, this is great considering that many of these companies, via this transactions pocket quite a good amount of cash and may or may not fall under a protective umbrella.
"EA remains committed to preserving Chillingo's independence and letting them continue to manage and cultivate their great network of relationships with independent developers." Am I really supposed to believe that?
ugh not another EA buyout how about for once a company buys out a smaller developer that actually isnt just all about the money? i wish some of these smaller good independent game companies woudnt surcome to buyouts and stay independent! but i guess at some of the prices these big name publishers offer i guess they'd be stupid to pass it up. bad EA! no more game companies for you! you have enough!
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