Take-Two Interactive, the owners of Rockstar and 2K, have confirmed they will buy Codemasters in a £759 million deal. Codies are the company behind racing series like F1 and Dirt, though they’ve dabbled in other genres too, who also recently bought Project Cars devs Slightly Mad. Take-Two said last week that they were in talks, and now they’ve reached an agreement that should see the acquisition completed by early next year. The rush from huge games companies to snap up mid-sized ones continues.
“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,” said Strauss Zelnick, the chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “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.”
Because Codies are a publicly-traded company, Take-Two will be wanging shareholders some cash and Take-Two shares. They’ve crunched the numbers and declared Codies have “an implied equity value of approximately £759 million ($994 million).”
I wonder what a change of ownership might mean for Codemasters games. 2K do seem mighty keen to rinse people with microtransactions and loot box guff in their annual sports series like 2K, while Codies are relatively restrained with F1. Other parts of Take-Two are more restrained, mind. Take-Two won’t necessarily want to change anything, though could just be expanding. This comes only a month after Take-Two’s Rockstar arm nabbed Ruffian Games, turning them into Rockstar Dundee.
“Stop worrying about timed exclusives and worry more about games industry consolidation,” our Graham warned last year. Since then, we’ve seen consolidation continue with giant purchases like Microsoft buying Bethesda.