Electronic Arts acquires Codemasters for $1.2 billion

Electronic Arts acquires Codemasters for $1.2 billion

Electronic Arts has now acquired Codemasters for $1.2 billion. EA got the racing game devs by buying all its shares.

Codemasters is among the most well-known dev studios in the United Kingdom. The team is famous for its expertise in arcade racing and racing simulation titles. Electronic Arts bought the studio for a total of $1.2 billion.

EA confirms purchase at full sale price

In a press release, EA confirmed that they bought the studio for a sale price of “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 is one of the best specialist studios in the world. Their titles mostly focus on racing games – both arcade and simulation. These include Need for Speed, Formula 1, DiRT, GRID, GRID Autosport, and much more.

Codemasters was not always a purely racing dev team. David and Richard Darling founded the studio in 1986, working on different platforms like the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Their reputation for quality titles superseded them over the years. Codemasters eventually pivoted to racing games. As gaming and graphics technology grow, the genius of Codemasters inspired multiple publishers to bid for its acquisition.

Among the most interested, EA and Take-Two were happy to pay the premium. Take-Two initially got the lead, but EA joined in the fray in December, eventually acquiring the studio for a cool $1.2 Billion.

Codemasters sold 99% of its shares

Two weeks ago, 76 of the shareholders of Codemasters agreed to the Electronic Arts bid. This represents as much as 99% of the shares in the company, giving sole control to EA over the company’s future.

“The combination of Electronic Arts and Codemasters marks an exciting new era in racing game entertainment,” said the press release.

“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…”

EA is looking to build on the racing expertise that Codemasters brings to the table. Furthermore, EA’s F1 and Dirt series are still active, while Project Cars is still a great IP. There’s also the single dormant RPG title of the studio, Operation: Flashpoint.

“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.”

Electronic Arts now fully owns Codemasters and the announcement is more of a formality if anything.

Featured image courtesy of Electronic Arts/Twitter video screenshot

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