EA buys Angry Birds publisher Chillingo

EA buys Angry Birds publisherAn Electronic Arts (EA) spokeswoman has confirmed to Reuters that the gaming giant will be acquiring Chillingo, the publisher of the game Angry Birds. While she would not give numbers, an anonymous Reuters source claims the deal was worth $20 million.

Angry Birds has long been a top seller in Apple’s App Store and recently surpassed 2 million downloads in a single weekend after it became available on Android. It looks like EA is making a pretty clear statement on the direction the company is going in. EA spokeswoman Holly Rockwood claimed that the new purchase is directly aimed at helping EA bolster “market leadership on the Apple platform.”

EA has been trying to think outside the box with its creative choices recently. Less than a year ago, the company bought social gaming publisher Playfish for $400 million. Playfish is a lead developer in casual gaming and has a strong presence on platforms including Facebook, iPhone, and Android.

This continued move away from traditional gaming could very well benefit EA, but there’s speculation that the gaming company might just be throwing money (and lots of it) at a problem. With considerable job cuts in the last year, a change in focus might be for the best. On the other hand, pushing time and money into the mobile and social gaming realm could result in EA isolating itself from its roots of traditional, console-based games.