April 5, 2019 / 8:24 AM / a month ago

Rovio spin-off brings 5G gaming to Samsung devices in South Korea

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Hatch Entertainment, a spin-off from Angry Birds game maker Rovio, has struck a deal to offer 5G gaming on Samsung devices in South Korea, Rovio said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo, Finland March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Anne Kauranen/File Photo

Hatch is a 5G gaming platform that allows users to stream games on their mobile phones in the way Netflix does for movies or Spotify for music.

Operators around the world are beginning to convert older 3G and 4G networks to faster 5G technology and games are likely to be among the first ways for consumers to experience the new faster connections.

Hatch’s cloud gaming service will be included in Samsung’s new 5G capable Galaxy S10 devices, with a three-month trial subscription to stream games at 5G speeds, Rovio said.

“It’s the world’s leading smart phone manufacturer and it’s their flagship product so obviously this is important for us,” Hatch spokesman Joseph Knowles told Reuters.

The cooperation will begin in Samsung’s home market South Korea, the world’s fourth-largest games market, where 5G networks are well underway.

Rovio said the two companies would “explore ways to collaborate in other territories, as 5G adoption advances globally.”

The deal, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, is Hatch’s first cooperation with a mobile device maker.

It has previously announced collaborations with telecoms operators NTT Docomo in Japan and Sprint in the United States.

The Hatch platform, which runs on Android phones, features games from game makers including Sega and Taito of Square Enix, while Rovio’s own Angry Birds games are also available.

Rovio is seeking external investors for Hatch, hoping to reduce its stake to below 50 percent by the end of this year to make the spin-off more attractive as a universal platform for 5G games from all developers.

Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Mark Potter

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