Electronic Arts has announced its official acquisition of Codemasters for $1.2 billion. The latter was originally slated to be acquired by Take Two Interactive before the FIFA and Need for Speed publisher swooped in. EA CEO Andrew Wilson called this the “beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content.”
“Racing fandom continues to grow worldwide, and the franchises in our combined portfolio will enable us to create innovative new experiences and bring more players into the excitement of cars and motorsport. Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier said this was a “landmark” in the studio’s history and “an exciting day for our employees and players. The partnership with EA will enable our teams to take our highly-acclaimed franchises to new heights and reach a huge global audience through their player network. Together we can redefine the landscape of racing games to create even more compelling experiences for racing fans around the world.”
Codemasters has been known for a variety of racing titles including the F1 series, DiRT, GRID and Project CARS. Last year alone it published three big racing titles – F1 2020, Project CARS 3 and DiRT 5 – along with Fast and Furious: Crossroads. EA believed that Codemasters’ expertise with its racing titles would allow its own teams to “innovate further.” It also discussed “accelerating” the latter’s performance, providing resources like art and motion captures, localization, global publishing and marketing and much more.
While Codemasters racing titles will be published under EA, the latter isn’t necessarily slouching off. It currently has a new Need for Speed in development at Criterion which should receive more details this year. In the meantime, we’ll have to wait and see how its strategy for that title fares especially given the hits and misses for the franchise over the years.