We're pretty late in the year, but this might be one of the craziest stories of 2011 -- according to sources, Angry Birds developer Rovio turned down a deal with social game company Zynga, to the tune of $2.25 billion. That's right, billion with a B, and they turned it down. I actually believe this going both ways -- Zynga has been buying up iPhone developers, and there aren't many bigger iPhone developers out there than Rovio, with the company's huge Angry Birds empire still generating plenty of attention and revenue. Zynga, with its own social network game empire, has this kind of money to spend, and it makes sense that it would want to claim Rovio for itself.
And from the other side, I also believe that Rovio thinks it's worth more than $2.25 billion (or at least doesn't necessarily need to sell, even for a pile of money that size). Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka is convinced that Angry Birds, despite its current popularity, still has a long way to go in terms of franchising, marketing, and even more games. Angry Birds is his moneymaker and his passion, and after having seen him earlier this year, I can completely understand why he's not ready to make a sale.
But man -- talk about a huge deal when it comes to the rapidly developing markets of social and mobile gaming. We'll likely see Zynga spend that money elsewhere, and Rovio continue to do its best to exploit the already ubiquitous Angry Birds brand.