Friday, February 19th 2021

Electronic Arts and Codemasters Establish a New Global Powerhouse for Racing Videogames & Entertainment

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Codemasters for 604 pence (approximately US$8.37) in cash for each ordinary share of Codemasters with an implied enterprise value of US$1.2 billion.

The combination of Electronic Arts and Codemasters marks an exciting new era in racing game entertainment. Bringing together two of the most passionate, creative and talented game developer and publishing organizations in the industry will enable further growth and continued success for a stable of the most powerful and popular racing brands in the world, including Formula 1, Need for Speed, DIRT, DiRT Rally/WRC, GRID, Project CARS, Real Racing and more. With this critically acclaimed portfolio, Electronic Arts and Codemasters will be positioned to bring fans a regular cadence of new and exciting racing content, in addition to reaching across more platforms and more regions of the world.
Codemasters' critically-acclaimed franchises Formula 1, DIRT, DiRT Rally, GRID and Project CARS will sit alongside Electronic Arts' global Need for Speed franchise, fan-favorite Real Racing mobile game, and its EA SPORTS brands, enabling greater innovation and increasing the capability to deliver content and experiences to a truly global audience for racing entertainment.

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

"Today is a landmark in Codemasters' history, and an exciting day for our employees and players," said Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters. "The partnership with EA will enable our teams to take our highly-acclaimed franchises to new heights and reach a huge global audience through their player network. Together we can redefine the landscape of racing games to create even more compelling experiences for racing fans around the world."

The union will open significant growth opportunities for Codemasters franchises with access to Electronic Arts' network of more than 430 million players and industry-leading multi-platform subscription services. Electronic Arts also brings deep data and analytics capabilities to the Codemasters development and publishing teams, providing audience insights to accelerate the performance of key franchises. These capabilities, as well as Electronic Arts' global publishing, marketing and game development strength, will unlock new opportunities for the combined group's portfolio of racing games and content to reach and deeply engage more players around the world on console, PC and mobile.

The acquisition of Codemasters is part of Electronic Arts' growth strategy focused on delivering more exceptional experiences and top live services, and reaching more players on more platforms around the world. The acquisition of Codemasters is also expected to grow net bookings and underlying profitability for Electronic Arts.

The acquisition of Codemasters was financed with cash on hand.
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37 Comments on Electronic Arts and Codemasters Establish a New Global Powerhouse for Racing Videogames & Entertainment

#1
DeathtoGnomes
Now if they fire everyone from Codemasters they might be a decent racing sim out.
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#2
_JP_
That was a weird way to claw back the F1 license after they lost it to Sony back in 2002. :wtf:
Also "Need for Speed: DiRT" inbound.
Yes, my hopes for that one keeping any identity are lost.* I guess codemasters applied for EA as a cadidate after releasing DiRT Rally 2.0 with some 30-odd 'single-content' DLCs.
Project CARS was a recent aquisition and has its own traction that largely outsold CM's own "GRiD", so we could see what was going to happen anyway. So either a new NFS: Shift is going to happen now, or all efforts are on the new branding of PCars to compete for playerbase against Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, Assetto Corsa, Automobilista and rFactor.

*EDIT: Not that I consider the DiRT Rally series to be the most realistic, as it isn't in a number of ways (I'm not even considering "Dirt #"), but it is the fairly better build rally racing game available.
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#3
avatar_raq
Let's hope Gird and need for speed remain 2 separate and DIFFERENT games.
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#5
mcloughj
Maybe codemasters will finally get around to making a follow-up Dizzy game for modern PCs...:laugh:
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#6
sam_86314
How long until EA rushes out a live-service disaster from Codemasters and then shuts the studio down?

EA is still (and will always be) at the top of my do-not-buy list.
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#7
Vario
I tried Codemaster's F1 2019 on some free weekend and the vehicle physics felt as bad as Operation Flashpoint.
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#8
AltCapwn
I still don't understand why they haven't released a NFS U3 yet.

Openworld racing game with in-depth car customisation, open world racing, quest, side quest, hidden cars in the map and stuff. You unlock higher grade car / mods as your level gets higher. Racing rpg why not.

It's not like they are not able, most nfs includes those features but never go in full depth. Like if someone wanted the game to release asap instead of building one huge project.

But anyway, EA being EA... Been a while I haven't bought a game from them. They all feel soul-less in my opinion. Jedi and squadron thingy looked OK tho, credit where its due.
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#9
sam_86314
Vario
I tried Codemaster's F1 2019 on some free weekend and the vehicle physics felt as bad as Operation Flashpoint.
If you want realistic physics, extensive customization, and big open worlds, play BeamNG.drive.

It has the most detailed, realistic, and unforgiving physics model of any "racing" game (I'd consider it more of a vehicle simulator or physics sandbox).

And best of all, it's being developed by a small indie dev. No massive AAA publishers here.
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#10
Vario
altcapwn
I still don't understand why they haven't released a NFS U3 yet.

Openworld racing game with in-depth car customisation, open world racing, quest, side quest, hidden cars in the map and stuff. You unlock higher grade car / mods as your level gets higher. Racing rpg why not.

It's not like they are not able, most nfs includes those features but never go in full depth. Like if someone wanted the game to release asap instead of building one huge project.

But anyway, EA being EA... Been a while I haven't bought a game from them. They all feel soul-less in my opinion. Jedi and squadron thingy looked OK tho, credit where its due.
There is a market for it as evidenced by Ubisoft's The Crew. Another game that had pretty bad physics. I've heard that Forza Horizon fits this niche well but haven't tried it.
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#12
Vario
P4-630
And when I look at NFSH on steam, they want you to sign up for EA Play?
Is this required to play the latest EA games or what.


store.steampowered.com/app/1222680/Need_for_Speed_Heat/
No, if you have EA play it gives you access to that game and others for a monthly fee, while the game itself alone can be purchased below that button.
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#13
hyp36rmax
Not sure how I feel about this acquisition. I guess i'm ready for it. Cautiously hoping EA doesn't fuck this up.

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#14
oobymach
Need for speed been running on the same engine since 3D0, fucking ea couldn't pour water out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel.
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#15
Animalpak
EA had F1 official game licence for many years and they did many, many bad F1 games in the past.

Now F1 is released every year, and EA loves this type of marketing. I hate their white themed game covers and their EA F1 .... game title.

I think they are very happy to get F1 offical licence back with Codemasters and they are ready to ruin it.
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#16
natr0n
I wish this didnt happen. I bought dirt 5 a while ago and no updates its like an abandoned game.

Here's hoping for something good to come, but it's EA afterall...
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#17
nguyen
natr0n
I wish this didnt happen. I bought dirt 5 a while ago and no updates its like an abandoned game.

Here's hoping for something good to come, but it's EA afterall...
Game is dead, there are more people playing Dirt 4 than Dirt 5 :roll:
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#18
1d10t
We should see "driver assistance" sold as DLC in near future.
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#19
Anymal
Vario
I tried Codemaster's F1 2019 on some free weekend and the vehicle physics felt as bad as Operation Flashpoint.
Exactly, its ironic how their best vehicle physics racing game was toca 2 more than 2 decades ago. Maybe console rush ruined all newer titles since then.
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#20
watzupken
hyp36rmax
Not sure how I feel about this acquisition. I guess i'm ready for it. Cautiously hoping EA doesn't fuck this up.
With EA, you should expect more loot boxes and pay to unlock features. These are features that pops up in almost every EA games.
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#21
Vayra86
Im glad I dont care for racing at all, because this is minus one dedicated studio.
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#22
Athlonite
LOL the only way I'll ever play another EA game is if I get given it for free or I pirate it and even then I'd still probably not play it, but I'd really like to see them redo Porsche 2000 and leave the lan plan in cause that used be fun
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#23
PapaTaipei
Bad news. Everything ea touches become trash.
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