It’s official: EA now owns Codemasters
After a bit of drama and a whole lot of cash, EA has officially completed its acquisition of racing game publisher Codemasters, the company announced.
“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,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson in a press release. “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.”
“Today is a landmark in Codemasters’ history, and an exciting day for our employees and players,” said Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier. “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.”
While EA plans to allow Codemasters to continue to operate as an independent group, the press release did tout the benefits of collaboration between teams. Specifically, the publisher pledged to grow Codemasters’ racing titles by sharing of EA’s data analytics capabilities, subscription services, and experience in publishing, marketing, and development.
In other words, you can likely expect to see Codemasters games arrive as part of EA Play (and by extension, Xbox Game Pass). You can also expect EA’s multiplayer gaming experience reflected in future Codemasters titles.
A video posted to the EA Twitter account sheds at least some light on how the publisher views the deal’s impact. “Welcome to the home of Racing Games,” the tagline reads. With Codemasters’ massive stable of motorsports titles and EA’s own Need for Speed and Burnout franchises, EA now holds a significant edge over its competitors within the genre.
It’s perhaps telling that the most notable racing franchises EA doesn’t control are Gran Turismo, Forza, and Mario Kart—all owned by the three major platform holders. In terms of third party racing games, EA is clearly in the, well, driver’s seat.
Originally, it was Rockstar and 2K parent company Take-Two that set out to buy Codemasters with a $973.8 million offer. Shortly after, EA stepped in with its own offer of more than $1 billion. Codemasters shareholders, predictably, voted in favor of that deal.
Codemasters’ most recent title, Dirt 5, is out now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. A Google Stadia release is slated for later this year.