Electronic Arts today announced they've completed their acquisiton of Codemasters, the English company behind the F1 and Dirt games. They sound well stoked to bolster their racing roster, saying that this "marks an exciting new era in racing game entertainment". A new era! Hark at that. I hope they've got a catchy branded name for this epoch. Haven't had a good one since Willenium.
EA have bought up all Codies shares, valuing them at $1.2 billion. Take-Two, the parent company of 2K and Rockstar, took a crack at buying Codemasters last year but backed down once EA came along with a larger money suitcase.
"This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters," EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in today's announcement. "Racing fandom continues to grow worldwide, and the franchises in our combined portfolio will enable us to create innovative new experiences and bring more players into the excitement of cars and motorsport. Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can't wait to get started."
That's F1, Dirt, Dirt Rally, Project Cars, and Grid now in the same business garage as EA's Need For Speed and mobile Real Racing. The consolidation of the games industry continues.
It's not clear what the acquisition will mean for players, for good or bad. In terms of product format, both already do a mix of annual sequels mixed with sporadic series and dabble in season passes. EA's influences, opportunities, resource supply, and demands could push and pull Codies in different directions, but we'll have to wait and see. The odds of the next Apex Legends character being Colin McRae have gone up, at least.