Today Electronic Arts (EA) has announced the acquisition of UK racing developer Codemasters. With the purchase, EA increases its already large library of sports titles. The purchase comes after a reported betting war between EA and Take-Two Interactive. Gerhard Florin, the chairman of Codemasters wrote about the purchase, “Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category. 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.”
Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters and Rashid Varachia, CFO of Codemasters will remain with the company after its acquisition along with the remainder of the studio’s executive staff. The experienced staff at Codemasters join a publisher with access to intellectual property like Burnout and Need for Speed. Codemasters also works on the yearly Formula One series of games. The studio has been making racing games since 1986 with BMX Simulator on Commodore 64. EA couldn’t have asked for a more experienced developer to work in this genre.
Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson had this to say about the purchase, “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. Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment. We have admired Codemasters’ creative talent and high-quality games for many years.”
This is a big loss to Take-Two as this could have been a great way for the NBA 2K developer to increase its presence in the sports game world, where EA is currently king.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our review for Dirt 5.