GTA publisher acquires Codemasters for $980 million

GTA publisher acquires Codemasters for $980 million

Video game holding company Take-Two Interactive confirms the acquisition of racing game developer Codemasters.

Photo credit: Codemasters Twitter

US-based video game holding company Take-Two Interactive Software, owner of Rockstar Games and 2K, has purchased racing game publisher and developer Codemasters for roughly $980 million, as announced this Tuesday. The purchase was first reported by VGC who state that the companies sent out a note to their investors earlier this day.

As the deal will be completed in the first quarter of 2021, Codemasters will soon run under Take-Two’s 2K label. The company will still keep its leadership surrounding CEO Frank Sagnier and the senior management team.

Both companies voiced their anticipation of the acquisition in said note. Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, states:

We are exceedingly pleased to announce this recommended transaction with the Board of Codemasters. Codemasters has a renowned history of creating some of our industry’s most beloved and commercially successful racing franchises, and we believe that their offerings will be highly complementary to our sports portfolio and enhance further our organization’s long-term growth.

Moreover, we look forward to welcoming Codemasters’ senior management and development teams into our Take-Two family, and sharing in our vision to deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences and aim to be the most innovative, creative and efficient company in our industry.

Codemaster’s chairman Gerhard Florin underlined the hopes for a long term success that comes with the takeover:

With a leading position in sports gaming, the Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company will benefit from Take-Two’s broad capabilities which will help propel the long term success of Codemasters.

The first offer was made in October

The original offer was already made in early October, which Take-Two now explained in an official press release last Friday. The offer entailed Take-Two purchasing the entire issued share capital of Codemasters at the price of 485 pence (*approximately $6.40) per share. The company further declared its intentions behind the acquisition in the previous press release:

Take-Two believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between Take-Two’s 2K publishing label and Codemasters in the racing genre. In addition, Take-Two believes that it can bring benefits to Codemasters’ performance by leveraging Take-Two’s global distribution network and 2K’s core operating expertise in publishing, including live operations, analytics, product development, and brand and performance marketing.

Who are Codemasters?

Codemasters are a British video game developer and publisher founded in 1986. The company has focussed on racing games ever since its establishment. Over the years, Codemasters became one of the most important studios for the virtual racing scene.

Several of the current top esports racing titles have been created under the umbrella of Codemasters. The publisher is the mastermind behind the F1 series, its latest edition being F1 2020, offroad series Dirt as well as Dirt Rally, mobile phone title Colin McRae Rally and Grid Autosport.

In November 2019, Codemasters acquired another well-known developer in the esports racing scene: Slightly Mad Studios. With this acquisition, Codemasters now holds the rights for the Project CARS franchise as well.

One year later in 2020, Codemasters received an exclusive 5-year license for World Rally Championship (WRC), starting in 2023.

Who is Take-Two?

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is an American video game holding company that was founded in 1993. While it doesn’t develop games by itself, it owns two of the world’s largest publishing labels: Rockstar Games and 2K. Therefore, Take-Two holds the rights for popular game franchises such as Red Dead, BioShock, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K.

As the holding company behind the basketball simulation, it additionally owns 50% of the professional esports organization NBA 2K League.

What do you think of the acquisition? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!