EA reaches deal to buy Codemasters for $1.2billion

‘Need For Speed’, ‘Dirt’, ‘Burnout’, ‘Grid’ and more will soon be under the same roof

Electronic Arts has reached an agreement with the board of Codemasters to purchase the British game developer for US$1.2billion.

The gaming giant officially announced the deal on Monday, December 14, with acquisition of the game studio expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. The deal comes just a day after it was first reported that EA was putting together an offer for Codemasters, despite the developer already having agreed to Take-Two Interactive’s US$1billion offer in November.

“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,” said Gerhard Florin, the chairman of Codemasters, in a statement. “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.”

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EA’s purchase of Codemasters – which is known for series such as Dirt, Grid and F1 – would give it a substantially higher share of the racing games market. The deal would put those titles under the same roof as EA’s own popular racing franchises, Need For Speed and Burnout.

“Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said. “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.”

Take-Two Interactive has since responded to Codemasters’ new deal with EA, noting that it is “considering its position in relation to Codemasters and a further announcement will be made when appropriate.” It is currently unclear whether the company is considering a counterbid for Codemasters.

EA’s purchase of Codemasters is the latest high-profile acquisition of a video game studio in recent months. Back in September, Microsoft announced that it was in the process of acquiring ZeniMax Media, the parent company of established video game studios such as Bethesda Softworks, id Software, Arkane Studios and more.

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