In a surprising twist, Electronic Arts is now set to acquire Codemasters.
Last month, news came out that Take-Two Interactive had proposed an offer to purchase the hugely successful racing game specialists. If it all went through, the 2K Sports publisher would buy out Codies for roughly $973 million in cash and shares.
However, it seems the deal spurred on other publishers. EA has entered the race, and looks set to win Codemasters with an offer of $1.2 billion. The deal is expected to be completed in early 2021.
Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin comments that EA and his company "have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category". When you consider the combined racing IP that this deal would bring together, that ambition will certainly be realised. The likes of DIRT, GRID, and Project CARS — not to mention officially licensed titles like F1 and WRC — will join Need for Speed, Burnout, and Real Racing.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson is very positive about this buyout: "Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment," he says.
It seems this is all pretty much set in stone, but it remains to be seen if Take-Two will fight for this acquisition — or indeed, if any other publishers will express interest. From where we're sitting, this seems like a done deal, though. Looks like Codemasters will be under the EA umbrella from next year onward.