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EA Acquires Racing Experts Codemasters

It looks like Take-Two’s acquisition of Codemasters has failed. EA has officially announced that they have acquired Codemasters for a whopping US$1.2 billion.

According to the press release, the acquisition is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of calendar 2021.

Codemasters Chairman Gerhard Florin said:

“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category.

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.”

EA CEO Andrew Wilson said:

“We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans.

Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.

We have admired Codemasters’ creative talent and high-quality games for many years.

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.

We are pleased that both our Boards of Directors are recommending this transaction, and we look forward to welcoming such an exciting and talented team to the Electronic Arts family.”

The “strategic rationale” provided by EA for the acquisition of Codemasters is as follows:

  • EA believes the combination of EA and Codemasters will enable further growth and success for Codemasters and EA’s popular and innovative racing franchises.
  • Bringing together the combined expertise and talent from Codemasters’ critically-acclaimed sports and racing franchises Formula One, DiRT, DiRT Rally, Grid and Project Cars with EA’s global Need for Speed franchise, fan-favourite Real Racing mobile game and EA SPORTS brands will enable our teams to innovate further, and meaningfully increase the delivery of content and experiences to a growing, global audience for racing entertainment.
  • Codemasters’ deep creative talent which has produced high-quality racing games for many years, including the Formula One franchise that continues to deliver a great entertainment for F1’s growing fan base.
  • EA believes it can help accelerate Codemasters’ performance by leveraging EA’s deep expertise in live services operations, game analytics and technology. In addition, EA’s central services teams across development technology, art & motion capture, quality verification, compliance, and localization will all be resources available to Codemasters.
  • EA’s global publishing, marketing and game development support capabilities will also strengthen Codemasters’ existing capabilities, expanding the addressable market for Codemasters’ franchises.
  • 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 union also creates ongoing and expanded ways for players to engage with the combined portfolio of sports and racing games through EA’s industry-leading multi-platform subscription services.
  • Bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts also delivers compelling financial benefit to the combined group. The acquisition is expected to grow net bookings and underlying profitability.
  • Frank Sagnier, Chief Executive Officer of Codemasters, and Rashid Varachia, Chief Financial Officer of Codemasters, along with the senior executive management team of Codemasters intend to remain with Codemasters following completion of the acquisition and will continue to lead the Codemasters business within EA’s organization.

It’s important to point out that Formula One, DiRT, DiRT Rally, Grid, Project Cars, Need for Speed and Real Racing are now under one roof.

Codemasters is best known for its racing games, such as the annual F1 franchise and Dirt series, the most recent of which was Dirt 5 (check out our review here).

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