EA has formally completed its purchase of Codemasters, the UK based studio that specializes in racing simulators such as DiRT, GRiD and the F1 series, for a cool $1.2 billion.
Codemasters will join EA's existing racing lineup, with games such as the Need For Speed series, but will bring with it much more simulation-focused and realistic driving titles, something EA has not avoided to date, preferring to focus on more arcade-style gameplay. EA has previously stated it plans to use Codemasters as a play to become the "global leader" in racing games, with new racing titles planned to release on a yearly basis.
Take-Two originally had eyes on Codemasters, offering $973 million, before EA bested their offer and Take-Two withdrew from the bidding. According to a press release, the final price of the sale is "604 pence (approximately US$8.37) in cash for each ordinary share of Codemasters with an implied enterprise value of US$1.2 billion."
Codemasters looks set to continue specialising in racing titles as part of its remit, with the official reveal from EA on Twitter also lumping in a few names including their existing Need for Speed franchise. Could these properties now also shift to Codemasters? It certainly wouldn't be a bad thing, as Codemasters has yet to make a bad driving game in my opinion.
EA is looking to become a "global leader in racing entertainment" and wants to release at least one new "racing experience" every year. "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."