EA to acquire Angry Birds/Cut The Rope publisher Chillingo?

While not 100% Android related gaming news this is pretty big news either way and it will have something to do with Android in the future. Rumor has it that a few companies are interested in acquiring Chillingo who were the publishers that released Angry Birds as well as the new smash hit Cut The Rope onto the iOS platform. The main one interested? EA.

Electronic Arts (or EA for short) is rumored to be the company ahead of the chase regarding the acquisition of Chillingo which is estimated to have a worth of $80-$200 million. Sources are saying that Chillingo is close to being sold to another major company and that EA is at the forefront of that. Other companies who also might be interested in Chillingo include Activision Blizzard, Gameloft, DeNA (who recently acquired ngmoco for up to $400 million) and Microsoft’s gaming unit.

While Angry Birds developer Rovio published their game onto the Android Market themselves, Chillingo did test the waters out regarding Android by release a few titles. However the titles were mediocre at best and performed poorly on the Android Market which made Chillingo decide not to really bother releasing any more for Android. Cut The Rope by Zeptolab is also slated for release on Android and recently when it was put onto the App Store it sold over 1 million copies in a day.

Chillingo has not done much with Android since their little testing of the waters but that could all change quickly with EA acquiring them as EA does support Android and they do release a lot of their major titles onto the Android Market. If EA ends up acquiring Chillingo we could very well see a lot more of their titles landing on the Android Market which would be great. They have a lot of good games but they just don’t seem interested in Android.

Apart from the few hit games Chillingo has, they have a half-dozen more games slated for release as well as their Crystal SDK which is basically like OpenFeint with a bit more social integration (Facebook, Twitter, etc), Unity3D support and more. Crystal SDK supporting Android in the future would be a big boost.

Perhaps the success of Angry Birds for Android and the inevitable success Cut The Rope will see when it comes to Android might change their minds. If not though, EA could always just release their games if they do buy Chillingo. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Update Oct. 20, 2010 10:35am: Reuters is reporting that it has been confirmed that  deal between EA to acquire Chillingo has been made. Sources close to the deal have said Chillingo was acquired for $20million in cash. When final numbers are released we will make another update.

Developer Website: Chillingo

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