Monday, December 14th 2020

Update: EA Joins Foray into Codemasters Takeover, Handily Outbids Take Two

Electronic Arts has reportedly expressed interest in taking over UK-based game developer Codemasters, the studio behind the official Formula One-licensed F1 series; DiRT series, and other hit motorsports franchises. EA comes from the legacy of Need for Speed, and is possibly eyeing the prestige of the F1 license that comes with Codemasters, besides the studios innovations and expertise with race simulation. In doing so, EA has gatecrashed the £725 million take-over bid by Take-Two Interactive, announced in November 2020. EA will reportedly formalize and disclose its competing bid for Codemasters later today (December 14, 2020), which is naturally expected to be higher than that of Take-Two.

UPDATE: EA really swung out of the gates with a baton made of stylishly compacted bills, and took the prize home. The company has announced it has reached an agreement with Codemasters' Board of Directors to purchase the company for $1.2 billion.

Gerhard Florin
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
"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,"said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts.

Strategic Rationale:
  • Electronic Arts 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-favorite 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 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.

Source: Sky News
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30 Comments on Update: EA Joins Foray into Codemasters Takeover, Handily Outbids Take Two

#1
dj-electric
So....

What will it really take to have an open world, fully (and i mean fully) customizibile car MMO with realtime events and races over car parts of varying rarities?

... I will just be over here keep dreaming.
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#2
yeeeeman
Hope that Take Two will win, cause everything that goes into EA hands goes bankrupt.
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#3
AsRock
TPU addict
Meh Codemasters lost it years ago, EA or Take2 are as bad as each other. Both suck.
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#4
GeorgeMan
Codemasters for sale? I didn't see that coming!
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#5
Kohl Baas
I hope it will be TakeTwo, because EA is on a lifetime no money ban from me for all the good teams they ruined.
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#6
ixi
yeeeeman
Hope that Take Two will win, cause everything that goes into EA hands goes bankrupt.
Don't you see? Micro Transcactions everywhere. You will get unready game, but don't worry, those bugs doesnt matter, matters only micro transcations!
Posted on Reply
#7
Dristun
dj-electric
So....

What will it really take to have an open world, fully (and i mean fully) customizibile car MMO with realtime events and races over car parts of varying rarities?

... I will just be over here keep dreaming.
Subscription model has been long dead so it would have to be f2p, monetizing all and everything in its way in terms of cosmetics and car sales. You'd probably lose your interest at this point, haha. And for 60$ straight up it just ain't happening, supporting such game would be expensive. In general, I feel like unless you are Gran Turismo or Forza, the market for a racing game is severely limited, in the last decade none of the games outside these two franchises broke past even paltry 10 million copies needed to justify the budget for something mega-big in scope.
Kohl Baas
I hope it will be TakeTwo, because EA is on a lifetime no money ban from me for all the good teams they ruined.
I think they're (Code and EA) a great match - both business-models rely on releasing almost exactly the same game every year!
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#8
Dammeron
EA could put their hands on other racing games brands? PLEASE NO!!!
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#9
Vayra86
dj-electric
So....

What will it really take to have an open world, fully (and i mean fully) customizibile car MMO with realtime events and races over car parts of varying rarities?

... I will just be over here keep dreaming.
Whaddayamean?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnout_Paradise

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need_for_Speed:_Underground

Hasn't it all been done before? Perhaps not as an MMO, but why the hell would you want that? All it adds is overpriced MTX and massive grind to reach the same goal.

So maybe to answer your question, maybe it'll take a Chris Roberts? :laugh:
Dristun
I think they're (Code and EA) a great match - both business-models rely on releasing almost exactly the same game every year!
Bingo. This and sports games are like the least innovated type of games in the history of games. For good reasons, but yeah, why do you need so many then.

Maybe they'll let Codemasters do a Respawn and keep some of their identity.
Posted on Reply
#10
_JP_
dj-electric
What will it really take to have an open world, fully (and i mean fully) customizibile car MMO with realtime events and races over car parts of varying rarities?
That would probably be more likely in Forza Horizon 5, now that Microsoft has acquired Bethesda and could share more complex RPG mechanics, or the new Test Drive Unlimited.
EA and Take Two would either have microtransactions or cash converts to in game currency aplenty as the only mechanic and then boring "missions".
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#11
Hawkster222
If EA gets Code masters , I am never going to enjoy a lag free dirt game again.
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#12
ObiFrost
As much as I despise this, I wouldn't mind Codemasters take on NFS, at least it would be probably better than Ghost Games and Criterion.
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#13
RH92
AsRock
Meh Codemasters lost it years ago, EA or Take2 are as bad as each other. Both suck.
Couldn't agree any more ! All OG in the F1 series know that Codemaster games where note worthy from 2010 to 2013 at most , after that Codemasters started to totally loose it by making their player base pay full price for what essentialy was a DLC , year after year after year . So yeah EA or Take2 doesn't matter , the game is lost anyways .
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#14
oobymach
Fuck EA, seriously, they are known for releasing unfinished product that barely works. Sometimes you get lucky with them but generally unless it's a sports game you should expect fuckery.
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#15
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

" Take-Two's bid was subsequently trumped by Electronic Arts in December 2020, which offered to buy all outstanding shares at GB£6.04 for an offer valued at about US$1.2 billion to acquire the company, about 14% higher than Take-Two's offer. Codemasters' board of directors has agreed to the Electronic Arts deal, which is expected to close by the first quarter of 2021.[26]"
Posted on Reply
#16
ixi
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

" Take-Two's bid was subsequently trumped by Electronic Arts in December 2020, which offered to buy all outstanding shares at GB£6.04 for an offer valued at about US$1.2 billion to acquire the company, about 14% higher than Take-Two's offer. Codemasters' board of directors has agreed to the Electronic Arts deal, which is expected to close by the first quarter of 2021.[26]"
Rest in peace codemasters. Grid is and will be the best car game.
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#17
Paganstomp
guess boycotting of anything EA has is not working.
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#18
spnidel
goodbye, codemasters!
Paganstomp
guess boycotting of anything EA has is not working.
why would it? 90% of gamers will eat up any turd a big publisher shits out
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#19
Fergutor
Formula 1 game was getting better and better, Dirt Rally not so much but it is still worth it. Codemasters secured WRC license from 2023 to 2027...
I can only hope EA don't fuck up Codemasters sim racing...
Posted on Reply
#20
Chrispy_
AsRock
Meh Codemasters lost it years ago, EA or Take2 are as bad as each other. Both suck.
This.

TBH, The one Codemasters game I really like is Dirt Rally (2.0) but the DLC, season pass, purchasing options and sheer greed is on another level if you actually wanted the full game as it became available. Their DRM/online servers had awful uptime and their bugfixing was laughably slow too.

Codemasters peaked almost two decades ago; It felt like they stopped caring just after Grid came out and TOCA Race Driver 2 was the last time it felt like they were making a game for players instead of shareholders. Also, giving AI catchup is dumb in 2020, I thought we all realised how stupid that was 15 years ago but Codemasters didn't get the memo.

EA or Take2 can squabble over the corpse of Codemasters as much as they want - none of the talent that made them great is with the company any more.
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#21
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
well fuck
good bye codemasters it was nice knowing ye
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#22
Kohl Baas
OneMoar
well fuck
good bye codemasters it was nice knowing ye
Knowing EA, they will R.I.P. CM for good.
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#23
Gruffalo.Soldier
I'm the only one
F1 is pay to win(team with most money wins) now EA will make the F1 games pay to win. Makes sense
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#24
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Solid State Soul ( SSS )
Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

" Take-Two's bid was subsequently trumped by Electronic Arts in December 2020, which offered to buy all outstanding shares at GB£6.04 for an offer valued at about US$1.2 billion to acquire the company, about 14% higher than Take-Two's offer. Codemasters' board of directors has agreed to the Electronic Arts deal, which is expected to close by the first quarter of 2021.[26]"
Well that will be a formal goodbye to Codemasters, just like every studio bought by EA disappears in everything but name.

Oh well, I still have my Operation Flashpoint games I can play.
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#25
Dave65
Everything EA touches turns to crap..
Posted on Reply
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