Need for Speed meets F1: EA to become new owners of racing game publisher Codemasters.
Photo credit: DIRT
American video game company Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) has agreed to acquire racing game publisher Codemasters for $1.2 billion. The acquisition was confirmed in an official press release by EA on Monday, December 14, and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The $1.2 billion consists of a price of $7.98 per share for the UK publisher.
The deal means that EA will hold the right for the Formula One, DIRT, DIRT Rally, Grid, WRC and Project Cars franchises in the future. EA already owns three racing franchises themselves, with Need for Speed, Real Racing and Burnout.
Gerhard Florin, Chairman of Codemasters explained in the statement:
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.
Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts:
Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment. […] With the full leverage of EA’s technology, platform expertise, and global reach, this combination will allow us to grow our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base.
Take Two no longer in the race
Codemasters originally planned to be acquired by GTA publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, as reported in November. However, it seems like EA simply outbid the holding company as Take Two’s offer valued Codemasters at around $980 million. Take Two made their first proposal in October. The planned takeover was also scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.
As another video game holding company, Take Two is not developing games themselves, but they own the two publishing labels Rockstar Games and 2K. Therefore, they are behind popular franchises such as Red Dead, BioShock, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K.
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