EA has completed its acquisition of developer and publisher Codemasters in a deal worth over $1.2 billion.
The deal first came to light late last year, when it emerged that EA had tabled an offer of nearly $8 per share for the UK-based business after the Codemasters board had approved a takeover deal from Take-Two. While Take-Two’s deal consisted of cash and stock, EA’s bid was cash only, for each of over 150 million shares in Codemasters. That new offer was accepted, subject to regulatory approval, and is now complete.
It’s a merger that will have some significant consequences for racing games fans. Codemasters was already at the helm of several popular racing franchises, and that’s only set to increase in the coming years. It holds the rights to develop the official game of Formula One and, from 2023, will take over the rights for the official game of the FIA World Rally Championship. That sits alongside its own rally series, Dirt, which comes in both the more arcade Dirt games and the more simulation Dirt Rally series.
In addition, Codemasters develops the Grid series, and in 2019 it acquired Slightly Mad Studios to add the Project CARS series too, and potentially rights to games based on the Fast and Furious movies series.
EA is no stranger to racing games either. It’s the power behind the Need for Speed series, arguably the best-selling racing game series of all time with more than 150m sales, and also produces the Real Racing mobile series and the Burnout games.
Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, commented:
“This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters. 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.”
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