EA confirms $1.2billion acquisition of F1 game developer Codemasters
Electronic Arts has completed a $1.2billion takeover of Formula 1 video game production company Codemasters.
Codemasters has produced the official video game of each F1 season since 2009, starting on the Nintendo Wii in Jenson Button's championship-winning season with Brawn GP and expanding onto other consoles with its future releases.
For the past four years, the video game has been used in the official F1 eSports championship.
The deal means EA take the rights, previously held by Codemasters, for the DiRT Rally, and Project CARS franchises.
A statement announcing the takeover claimed that "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 organisations 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."
EA CEO Andrew Wilson hailed the deal as "the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games".
Wilson added: “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.”
The last F1 title produced by EA was the 'Career Challenge' game released in 2003 which allowed players to compete in four seasons from 1999-2002.
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier added: “Today is a landmark in Codemasters’ history, and an exciting day for our employees and players.
“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.”
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