EA is acquiring Codemasters for $1.2 billion

Humza

Posts: 779   +161
Staff member
In brief: Following Take-Two's $970 million bid for Codemasters last month, EA has now entered the chat with a $1.2 billion deal to acquire the racing game studio. Like Take-Two's original offer, this deal is expected to close by the first quarter of next year, meaning that both US publishing giants have plenty of time to outbid each other in determining who gets to control a major portion of the racing game genre.

Codemasters, mainly known for their Dirt, F1, and Grid racing series, had recently agreed to be snapped up by Take-Two Interactive in an acquisition that was expected to be complete by the first half of 2021.

Now though, Take-Two could find itself entering a bidding war with its US rival, Electronic Arts, following the latter's plan to acquire Codemasters for $1.2 billion. Should the agreement reach completion, it'll be EA's latest acquisition (and one of the biggest) since the $455 million purchase of Respawn Entertainment in 2017.

EA and Take-Two compete fiercely in the sports genre and could leapfrog their bids to acquire the UK-based developer, which has an extensive racing game pedigree and holds the official license for F1 titles. Take-Two doesn't currently have a racing game in its portfolio, which could push it to outbid EA's latest offer.

EA, however, still has the long-running NFS franchise going and could further cement its position with Codemaster's mix of arcade and simulator titles. With Project Cars, Need for Speed, F1, Grid, and Dirt, the publisher would be able to control a significant chunk of the racing games market, leaving Microsoft's Forza and Sony's Gran Turismo series as its only main rivals.

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DZillaXx

Posts: 150   +216
While Codemasters best work was done back during the 360 days, this is probably the best move for both EA and Codemasters. I feel Codemasters have been trending downward the last few years, with their games getting a little stale. Dirt2 IMO is still the best of the series.

People love to hate on EA, but IMO EA's biggest problem is they continue to greenlight crappy games. Too many of their game studios spending time on crap and EA not forcing quality control. But quality games do come out of EA from time to time, more so than Ubisoft. Mass Effect 2 still goes down as one of the best games ever made.

Take-Two as of late has been the worst when it comes to pushing Online & Microtransactions.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,797   +6,452
Yep ... just another example of another company trying to fill in for it's lack of good idea's by buying up the competition and stealing there's .... it would have been a lot better if CodeMasters had been the buyer, at least we could see something more refreshing instead of waiting for COD 25 ....... LOL
 

arrowflash

Posts: 259   +223
Yep ... just another example of another company trying to fill in for it's lack of good idea's by buying up the competition and stealing there's .... it would have been a lot better if CodeMasters had been the buyer, at least we could see something more refreshing instead of waiting for COD 25 ....... LOL
Wouldn't be so bad if all EA did was buying up competitors to "steal" their ideas.

The problem is that EA often buys companies only to kill them and then sit on their IPs without doing anything with them (other than ocasionally releasing some underwhelming game many years later). There's a chart around the internet showing all EA purchased companies that suffered this fate. The chart is pretty big.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,601   +1,800
Staff member
Project Cars 3, Dirt 5, GRID 2019. Their latest releases have been underwhelming to say the least.
PC3 was indeed very disappointing, but it also wasn't really by Codemasters - they bought the studio out, but it runs on the same engine as PC2. I suspect Codemasters influence came in the form of telling the studio to curtail a lot of the original development plans, wrap up the title, then spit it out via Bandai.

On the matter of the bids, both seem overly generous for Codemasters, given that it's currently pulling in £76m in revenue, with net profits of £11.5m, and a total equity of £85.5m - it's not like Take Two or EA would be removing a competitor from a sector they're struggling in, as neither have anything to compare against the rally and F1 titles. Even with EA's 'talent' at milking a cash cow to point it's drier than the Gobi desert, it doesn't seem like a good investment.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 259   +223
I'd have been devastated if this news had come out 10 years ago, but nowadays is sort of meh, feels like just the final nail in the coffin. Codemasters' been in a downward spiral for the last 10 years.

Last good mainline Dirt game was Dirt 3 (Dirt 2 is also my favorite). Dirt Rally is pretty good but I think Dirt Rally 2.0 was disappointing and underwhelming.

In the GRID series, the first Race Driver Grid from 2008 is still my favorite, but Grid 2 and Grid Autosport were also good. Grid Autosport is very interesting in that it's one of the very few racing games that handicap the AI by giving you better brakes instead of making the AI slower. Can't opinate on Grid 2019 since I haven't played it, and tbh don't feel like it, seems a pretty underwhelming game.

OF: Red River and OF: Dragon Rising would've been pretty good tactical fps games if they didn't have a nausea-inducing low fov that feels like we are using binoculars all the time. Even a few console version players complained about it. One thing I've always noticed about Codemasters is how plenty of CM titles have game ruining flaws that however are small and could be easily fixed if they cared a little more.
 

Lounds

Posts: 667   +565
Who remembers the greats such as Micro machines and Micro machines V3?

This is bad news for Code masters as I feel a big publisher will asset strip the developers for their IP's and not the talent. Criterion games comes to mind with EA another great British studio stripped of its IP's and talent.
 
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Benny26

Posts: 1,383   +72
No... I understand it... but clearly you're ignorant of REALITY - no one with even a sense of business acumen would take a $200 million loss over anything (other than a $300 million loss!).
In cold-hard math, you're right, but that wasn't the intention of my original post if you care to read it properly.

Selling to EA is effective company suicide on all fronts based on their track record, as pointed out by others. They have no morals when it comes to treating devs or treating IPs with respect.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,740   +2,711
In cold-hard math, you're right, but that wasn't the intention of my original post if you care to read it properly.

Selling to EA is effective company suicide on all fronts based on their track record, as pointed out by others. They have no morals when it comes to treating devs or treating IPs with respect.
Yes... but it’s SELLING... once you sell, the company isn’t yours... so you don’t care if the company dies.... you just got $1.2 billion....
 

amghwk

Posts: 932   +815
Nothing new. EA's murder of 2 of my favourite developers - Westwood and Origin already made me disappointed*.

* - (I'm too tired and sick of using more stronger expletives against EA, with it's corporate mongering BS time and again.)
 

Tyr Antilles

Posts: 9   +6
EA will take the company and turn their stuff on a bucket of goo like it did with all others time and time again. :( This is the end for Codemasters.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,146   +2,803
While Codemasters best work was done back during the 360 days, this is probably the best move for both EA and Codemasters. I feel Codemasters have been trending downward the last few years, with their games getting a little stale. Dirt2 IMO is still the best of the series.

People love to hate on EA, but IMO EA's biggest problem is they continue to greenlight crappy games. Too many of their game studios spending time on crap and EA not forcing quality control. But quality games do come out of EA from time to time, more so than Ubisoft. Mass Effect 2 still goes down as one of the best games ever made.

Take-Two as of late has been the worst when it comes to pushing Online & Microtransactions.
The studios are TOLD to make those crappy games by EA. It's not like EA is being taken advantage of by rouge development teams, the studios they buy are forced into making garbage games they dont want to make and are shut down when they cant pull magic out of a hat. EA's idea of quality control is those crappy games loaded with microtransactions and unnecessary, boring sequels to games (ME:A, DA:O) that dont need to exist whiel consistently killing any ingenuity these studios come up with.

Codemasters wont be making a good racing game ever again.