Since the announcement that EA was to purchase Codemasters, many have speculated about what this will mean. The two companies’ CEOs gave their perspectives.
Photo credit: Jacob Hancox / Codemasters
In December 2020, it was revealed that Electronic Arts, famous for franchises such as the FIFA series, was purchasing F1 and DIRT developers Codemasters for a whopping $1.2 billion. In doing so, they beat Take-Two Interactive to the punch, going above their initial offer by a considerable margin. Such a major acquisition with so much money at stake has unsurprisingly sparked interest around EA’s plans for Codemasters going forwards. In an interview with mcvuk.com, the CEOs of each company, Frank Sagnier of Codemasters and Andrew Wilson of EA, discussed the future of the project.
An Optimistic Relationship
Much of what EA’s Andrew Wilson had to say painted a very positive and hopeful image. “In a world where you’re looking for strategic strength, cultural fit, and really strong leader, we think it’s a great opportunity” he said, regarding the initial acquisition.
Adding to this, Wilson enthused about Codemasters claiming that EA had been “big fans” of the F1 2020 developers for a “really, really long time”. According to him “Codemasters have established a racing portfolio that was clearly the leading portfolio in the industry”.
Frank Sagnier of Codemasters did nothing to dampen Wilson’s flame. If anything, he was more emphatic than his colleague. “Joining forces is going to make us the ultimate destination for the delight of millions of racing fans… There’s so much more growth ahead of us than behind us”. Indeed, when Sagnier was asked about the $1.2 billion price tag, he declared it the “deal of the century”.
What are the benefits?
On the subject of how exactly the acquisition by EA will help Codemasters going forward, Sagnier stated that “EA brings scale with its sales and marketing muscles, live services expertise, state of the art analytics platform, EA access, EA Play, Origin – just so much wealth that EA beings in terms of their services”.
For those concerned that this might mean that future Codemasters games will only be available on Origin, or that they will lose their identity, Sagnier went some way to allaying those fears. “That’s why it’s fantastic, EA is offering all the services, but not forcing us if it doesn’t fit”. In fact, F1 2021 has already been confirmed to be available on Steam.
Sagnier confirmed that F1 2021 “will be an EA Sports game”, adding that he doesn’t think that “EA would have agree to put the game under the EA Sports banner, if they didn’t think it deserved it”. On the topic of future F1 games, Wilson acknowledged the parallels between the F1 franchise and FIFA. However, he did so with regards to marketing power rather than game mechanics, a fact that will be a slight relief to many.
Wilson also highlighted the upcoming Miami street circuit which is planned for use on the F1 calendar starting in 2022. “We have a unique opportunity there to grow the business”. The majority of the conversation centred on the subject of marketing, giving the impression that EA would be relatively hands-off on the development side of things. If EA can apply its marketing magic to Codemasters’ franchises without much interference on the gameplay itself, then the future certainly looks bright for the F1 series, as well as DIRT and GRID.
What do you think EA will bring to the table with F1 2021? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!