EA buys Chillingo, the guys who made "Angry Birds" a success

Posted by Mark Raby

It's a move that seems like insane spontaneity but also brilliant forward-thinking at the same time. EA has sealed a deal to buy Chillingo after the company published two wildly successful iPhone games.

Chillingo has gained stardom over its top-selling casual mobile game Angry Birds. With over seven million people paying for the 99-cent iPhone game, it has quickly become the talk of the town.

On the heels of its iPhone success, Chillingo and Rovio tried something different with the Android release, to further boost awareness of its game - they released it on Android for free. In the first day of its availability, a million Android users downloaded in. In the second day, another million did the same. No other Android game, free or otherwise, has even come close.

The publisher also just released a new game, Cut the Rope, which became one of the fastest-selling iPhone games ever. Both of these casual hits are basic but highly addictive puzzle games.

Although Chillingo went from unknown name to veritable superstar in a matter of weeks, it hardly jumped to the Fortune 100 list. With around 10 million downloads the company has only grossed about $7 million. That's less than even a mediocre game release on a console or Games For Windows box.

Unconfirmed reports suggest EA snagged up the little company for less than $20 million, in cash. For EA, it'll be all about monetizing the wild success Chillingo has been able to produce. The publisher has made great strides in the mobile market and has been a supporter of games on Apple devices for several years.

"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," said EA in a statement.