Hope you're ready for some big business-y numbers on this fine Monday afternoon. Last month, Take-Two Interactive announced they had plans to buy Dirt developer Codemasters for a whopping £759 million. However, that doesn't seem to be happening anymore. Other gaming megacorp, Electronic Arts, are ready to do the buying instead. They've swooped in with a cheeky £914 million offer for Codemasters, who are expected to complete the deal with EA early next year - unless some other giant publisher kicks in the door throwing even more cash everywhere, I suppose.
Grand Theft Auto publisher, Take-Two, originally valued Codemasters at around £739 million (around $973 million), while EA have topped that with their £914 million (around $1.2 billion) valuation. Which is just more money than I can possibly get my head around.
EA and Codemasters say they've reached an agreement now, but it won't be finalised until the "first quarter of 2021". So, Take-Two do still have time to make a counter-offer, if they want.
"Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category," said Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin in a press statement. Which, yeah, makes sense. EA have published lots of Need For Speeds and Burnouts, while Codemasters made lots of F1 and Dirt games (like Dirt 5, which came out just a few weeks ago).
"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," Florin adds.
EA's CEO, Andrew Wilson, seemed pretty happy about the whole thing too. He 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."
There have been a whole lot of humongous game business purchases this year, most notably Microsoft buying Bethesda. I don't feel like we should celebrate big aquisitions like this, though. Graham warned us about this sort of stuff last year, saying: "stop worrying about timed exclusives and worry more about games industry consolidation".