Electronic Arts has agreed to acquire Codemasters which potentially puts the publishing giant into the driving seat of the worldwide racing game market. The deal reportedly values at around $1.2 billion, or at least will once all of the necessary legal paperwork gets through early next year.
Terming it as an acquisition though might not be correct. EA had to interestingly buy Codemasters out (via Sky News) since the developer had already agreed to a lesser $970 million deal with Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of developers Rockstar Games and 2K Sports, on the weekend.
“We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson in a statement. “Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.”
“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category,” said Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin. “The Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA’s knowledge, resources and extensive global scale — both overall and specifically within the racing sector. We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience.”
Codemasters has made a proud name for itself for developing some of the best racing games in recent decades. That includes the stellar trio of the Dirt, Grid, and F1 franchises which all have annual followings. Codemasters also owns Slightly Mad Studios, the developer of Project Cars; an acquisition itself which was done just last year. EA has hence paid a few additional figures to gain a series of prominent racing names to add to its profile.
Electronic Arts already owns the iconic Need for Speed franchise. Could Codemasters be given a chance with the next Need for Speed? Perhaps. The publisher certainly has plenty of prospects to play with now against the Gran Turismo franchise of Sony Interactive Entertainment and the Forza franchise of Microsoft.