EA buys Chillingo, but not Angry Birds. 'We will not use Chillingo again' says Rovio
Worldwide publishing giant Electronic Arts has plonked down a cool $20 million and acquired popular iPhone publisher Chillingo.

It’s a pretty cheap price, compared to some recent mobile buyouts. DeNA’s acquisition of Ngmoco this month cost $400m and EA previously bought Playfish for more than $250m.

What does the powerhouse get in the bundle? Well, alongside leaderboards, achievements, and freemium SDK Crystal, Chillingo is the distribution house behind some of the App Store’s most popular games, including addictive physics puzzlers Cut the Rope and Angry Birds.

But EA won’t be getting its mitts on the uber popular poultry flinging sim, which has racked up more than 6.5 million downloads.

Developer Rovio remains entirely independent and holds on to the game’s IP, name, and rights. It worked with Chillingo on the iPhone and iPad editions, but ditched the publisher when releasing the game on Android, and has released the Halloween edition by its lonesome.

In fact, Rovio boss Peter Vesterbacka says, “We will not use Chillingo again”. He claims that when it comes to mobile games, “You don’t need publishers.”

What EA does get is a publisher that is well known for scooping up instant success stories (Cut the Rope sold a million in ten days), and has a large playerbase waiting with baited breath for the company’s next release.

Mobile Entertainment and Techcrunch
Mark Brown 21/10/2010
© Steel Media Ltd.