Electronic Arts has purchased Angry Birds publisher Chillingo, thus buying up a significant part of the mobile gaming industry.
Reuters puts the price of Chillingo just shy of $20m, though neither company is prepared to provide details.
As well as Angry Birds, which was developed by Rovio, Chillingo owns the distribution rights to several of the top mobile games and EA sees the publisher as a way of increasing its presence on the iPhone.
It's quite rare for games developers to take centre stage, as Rovio has done with Angry Birds. Generally the publisher is the public face of a game while few people have heard of the companies that put in the legwork. In desktop gaming the publisher will often own the franchise, or have a licence for a TV character or brand, and will hire a development company to put the game together. The name of that development company remains unknown to anyone who doesn't read the credits.
Mobile gaming is developing the same way, with brands like Angry Birds becoming as important as the games in which they appear, which is why EA is prepared to shell out on its publisher. ®
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