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Electronic Arts to acquire Angry Birds publisher

Electronic Arts is making a major push into the mobile market by buying Chillingo, the publisher of the wildly popular game Angry Birds.

Angry Birds publisher Chillingo will be part of EA.
Angry Birds publisher Chillingo will be part of EA.

Electronic Arts is acquiring Angry Birds publisher Chillingo, the company confirmed to Reuters today.

According to the report, EA is buying Chillingo for under $20 million. However, an EA spokesperson, who told Reuters that the acquisition would help the company increase its "market leadership on the Apple platform," would not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Chillingo is a major player in the mobile-gaming space. The company publishes Rovio's Angry Birds, which is one of the top-selling titles of all time in Apple's App Store. It also publishers several other games, including Cut the Rope, Robin Hood: Archer of the Woods, and Modern Conflict. Its content is available on several platforms aside from iOS, including Windows Mobile and RIM's BlackBerry OS.

With the help of Chillingo, EA can now start focusing more of its efforts on the growing mobile-gaming space.

According to a recent study from Flurry Analytics, 19 million people currently play games on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch for an average of 22 minutes each day. And even that figure is low, Flurry said, because its analytics tools are only running on 20 percent of all the applications available in Apple's App Store.

In a separate study released earlier this year, Flurry Analytics found that Apple's iOS gaming market share has increased at an astounding rate. In 2008, its share stood at just 5 percent of the portable games market. By the end of the 2009, it chipped away at Sony's PlayStation Portable and Nintendo's DS to capture 19 percent market share. That figure could be even higher by the end of 2010.

This isn't EA's first foray outside of the traditional gaming market. Last year, the company acquired PlayFish for as much as $400 million to bolster its social-gaming offering.