Electronic Arts to buy F1 game developer Codemasters

Jamie Woodhouse
Virtual GP Codemasters

George Russell and Alex Albon among drivers confirmed for virtual Austrian GP.

Codemasters, the company responsible for the current generation of Formula 1 games are to be bought out by Electronic Arts.

British video game developer Codemasters have developed the annual Formula 1 game since their first release in 2009, though they haven’t always earned the greatest of reviews.

Indeed over the years Codemasters’ Formula 1 games have become known for some of the craziest glitches you will see in the video game industry, though the F1 2020 release was seen as a strong step forward, both in terms of the bugs and the simulation experience of real-world Formula 1.

And now Codemasters will look to tap in to the expertise of Electronic Arts under this deal, the developer responsible for some of the most popular video games franchises in the world such as FIFA, NHL and Madden.

The takeover will be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category,” said Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin, as quoted by The Race.

“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.”

Initially it was believed that Take Two, the developer responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series, was going to complete the takeover of Codemasters, but they were outbid late on by Electronic Arts.

The Race report that “the takeover was announced with an implied enterprise value of $1.2billion.”

“Bringing together the combined expertise and talent from Codemasters’ critically-acclaimed sports and racing franchises Formula 1, 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,” the statement announcing the takeover read.

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