EA has confirmed the purchase of mobile games publisher Chillingo for an undisclosed price, although the deal does not include the publisher's biggest hit Angry Birds.

The acquisition is rumoured to be worth in the region of $20 million in cash and will see the mobile publisher maintain its independence.

"EA remains committed to preserving Chillingo's independence and letting them continue to manage and cultivate their great network of relationships with independent developers," said EA in a statement.

"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.

"This acquisition will combine Chillingo's expertise in cultivating the ideas of independent developers with EA's global mobile publishing reach."

The statement added: "Chillingo remains committed to its promise of providing the optimal gaming experience for consumers and diligently listening to all its audiences in order to enhance the titles we bring to market."

However, the deal does not include the rights to Chillingo's biggest hit, Angry Birds. The game has sold over six million units via the App Store and developer Rovio Mobile says the IP isn't going anywhere.

Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka told TechCrunch: "We only did the first iPad/iPhone integration with Chillingo and aside from that we've published everything ourselves. We will not use Chillingo again."

Rovio has self-published Angry Birds on Android and Nokia platforms.

The deal effectively eliminates one of EA Mobile's biggest rivals in the mobile gaming space, but will also give EA access to Chillingo's Crystal social platform - offering leaderboards, achievements and cross-promotion of titles.

EA is also gaining a pool of talent with a proven track record in spotting the next big hit - Cut the Rope shifted over a million copies in under 10 days.