EA is set to buy Codemasters for $1.2 Billion - Another One Bites the Dust

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tehpope

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EA set to pay $1.2 billion for Codemasters and its stable of racing games​

$1.2 billion purchase is part of a trend of game industry consolidation.​

The board of directors for British developer Codemasters has reached a purchase agreement with Electronic Arts which would sell the company to the mega-publisher for an estimated $1.2 billion (or just under $8 a share) in early 2021.

The deal would put Codemasters' popular racing-game franchises—including DiRT/DiRT Rally, Grid, F1, and Project CARS (which Codemasters acquired in 2019)—under the same umbrella as EA's Need for Speed, Burnout, and mobile-focused Real Racing. That's not quite a monopoly in the genre—thanks in large part to console exclusives like Microsoft's Forza Motorsport and Sony's Gran Turismo—but it's as close as you're likely to find for any major genre in gaming.

More than that, the acquisition reflects a continuing trend toward consolidation among the game industry's biggest publishers. That's a trend that includes Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda Softworks (as well as other smaller studios in 2018); Sony's purchase of Insomniac Games last year (and the stated potential for more acquisitions to come); and Epic Games' purchase of Rocket League developer Psyonix, to name just a few.

The acquisition would also likely make Codemaster's current and future titles part of the EA Play subscription service and, by extension, part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Aside from its modern racing sims, Codemasters boasts a legacy catalog going back to the days of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64, with titles like Micro Machines and the Dizzy platform-adventure series that were especially popular in the UK.

EA's new purchase deal outbids a similar agreement reached with fellow mega-publisher Take Two last month, that one valued at just under $1 billion. Take Two has a limited window of time before the planned Q1 2021 purchase date if it wishes to raise the bidding yet again.

"The combination of Codemasters and Electronic Arts will enable the development and delivery of a market-leading portfolio of creative and exciting racing games and content to more platforms and more players around the world," the companies said in a joint statement.

"Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category," Codemasters Chairman Gerhard Florin added. "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."


Welp they're good as dead.
 

Arm Pit Cream

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I don't know why anybody would care about this unless they're really into racing games, which DiRT is the only one there with a fanbase.

Honestly, just a bad purchase for EA, particularly when they already have so many car games.
 

XMassAllYearRound

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I guess they have to start looking for new slaves to work the mines after they inevitably shutter Bioware, hell maybe even DICE, I've heard they are not doing too hot afer #Everyone'sBattlefield and Star Wars Legislation 2,

If anything I'm just scratching my head as to why Codemasters of all studios, they only make racing games these days and their last couple that I can recall (Being the Grid reboot and Grid autosport) were pretty rubbish and badly received, I don't get it, what's the play here?
 

Anchors-Away

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If EA leave them be (which is unlikely) than Codemasters will continue doing it's yearly releases F1 and bi-anual formats like DIRT and GRID.

Assuming EA does intend on attempting to choke out the motorsport sector, they'll likely be forced into doing a NASCAR series at some point. Using Frostbite too. Gotta force that bullshit
 

AsbestosFlaygon

shitmas anime avatars in current millennium
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But nary a one of them is good though.
But Codemaster don't have the best series either, at best you have something like F1 where they just make new installments on autopilot like Madden. Or you have something like Project CARS which just killed off what remaining good will the series had by becoming a shitty arcade game.
 

IAmNotAlpharius

Nothing to see here. Move along citizen.
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Looks like it’ll be another body added into the pit... eventually.

3E2F4D0D-210F-47A3-8EC9-ED44DDAD5E1F.jpeg
 

The Demon Pimp of Razgriz

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I really don't get how this makes sense for EA? They already have two key racing series (Need For Speed and Burnout), one of which is currently struggling, the other of which they don't even produce new games for anymore. How does acquiring a developer/publisher primarily known for racing games help them? EA's entire modus operandi these days producing games as cheaply as possible, then filling them with microtransactions and shit for maximum profit. Need For Speed should have told them that this really doesn't fly in racing games, and Codemasters reputation is already diminishing because all of their most recent games were lambasted by the dedicated racing fanbase. I fail to see what business sense this makes for them in the long or short term. It really feels like they are doing this just to deny Take-Two the opportunity to acquire them. EA seem like the type of company to do petty shit like that, and they are probably still a little pissed about how Take-Two rebuffed EA when they tried to acquire them.
 

Raiken

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And nothing of value was lost.
Really though, i heard something that they tried to not be bought out by them for years, and now they just did it by buying their parent company. What is it what EA sees in them?
 

Anchors-Away

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And nothing of value was lost.
Really though, i heard something that they tried to not be bought out by them for years, and now they just did it by buying their parent company. What is it what EA sees in them?
Monopoly on the sports simulation brand deals, ensuring a stable and consistent product is released yearly to appease stock holders.

Look at how EA has attempted to strangle out PES over the past console generation, despite FIFA getting worse reviews in comparison from some notable sites like IGN. Football/Soccer licence deals have entered a new tier of petty. Also take into account how EA constantly attempts an NBA game, despite 2K's established presence. If it wasn't for Sony funding the MLB games, you damn well know EA would have picked up that licence in a heart beat. Even rumours of WWE becoming a EA licenced series come 2023

So why Codemasters? Codemasters already own the licences for multiple car brands and have F1 locked down. Cheaper to buy the studio and pillage it for what you need overtime than haggle with them in court.
 

heyitsmike

The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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But Codemaster don't have the best series either
F1 is better than NFS, I'll give them that. But on the other hand, NFS is better than Dirt, Project CARS, and GRID.

They're gonna have to kill off either GRID or Project CARS though. There's no reason for both to exist when they are basically the same game.
 

Fuck Y'all

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I really don't get how this makes sense for EA? They already have two key racing series (Need For Speed and Burnout), one of which is currently struggling, the other of which they don't even produce new games for anymore. How does acquiring a developer/publisher primarily known for racing games help them? EA's entire modus operandi these days producing games as cheaply as possible, then filling them with microtransactions and shit for maximum profit. Need For Speed should have told them that this really doesn't fly in racing games, and Codemasters reputation is already diminishing because all of their most recent games were lambasted by the dedicated racing fanbase. I fail to see what business sense this makes for them in the long or short term. It really feels like they are doing this just to deny Take-Two the opportunity to acquire them. EA seem like the type of company to do petty shit like that, and they are probably still a little pissed about how Take-Two rebuffed EA when they tried to acquire them.
F1 license, dude
 

Smug Chuckler

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Has EA bought any company of big importance in the last 10 years? A has-been turned racing game developer for a billion is a fucking joke EA.