EA has formally completed its acquisition of Codemasters for $ 1.2 billion and has confirmed to IGN that it will treat the company’s studios as a “independent group”, which will develop its own games. However, EA showed interest in the possibility of bringing the Formula 1 license back under its own EA Sports brand.
In a press release, EA explained that Codemasters franchises like Formula 1, Dirt, and Project CARS will sit alongside EA’s existing racing games. Speaking to IGN, EA Executive Vice President of Strategic Growth Matt Bilbey explained that Codemasters studios (including Slightly Mad, which it bought in 2019) would remain in part autonomous after the purchase.
“We will treat Codemasters studios as an independent group, giving them all the support they need to deliver their most beloved games and exploring all growth opportunities as we move forward.”Bilbey explained. “We are incredibly excited about what the future holds, and while they will remain independent, we will be there to drive their growth capabilities through the power of EA’s distribution.”.
Bilbey explained the motivation for the purchase saying EA sees a lot of room for growth in racing games, with the acquisition allowing EA “Offer racing experiences to fans on a more regular basis.”. Formula 1 seems to be of particular interest, and Bilbey describes it as “one of the few truly global sports, with strong fan growth in North America, Asia and continued growth in Europe.”.
Speaking of Formula 1, IGN also asked if there were plans to bring the license (which Codemasters has had since 2009) under the EA Sports banner. EA Sports was last licensed in F1 in a period between 2000 and 2003. Bilbey did not commit to that move, but showed some interest:
“We are very proud of the values and reach that the EA Sports brand brings.”Bilbey replied. “Codemasters has very similar values and a proven track record for quality. We believe the opportunity to partner Formula 1 with the Codemasters brand and EA Sports is a compelling proposition to reach more racing fans around the world.”.
EA has a pretty checkered history with studios focused on racing games in recent years, with EA Black Box closed and two Ghost Games studios closed in the last decade. That’s why we asked Bilbey what message the company had for the most staunch fans of the genre:
“We are huge fans of the racing genre and I know many of your readers are too”Bilbey explained, “That’s why I’m sure you’ll understand why we’ve admired Codemasters for so long. Our intention is to build on the success that Codemasters has generated, ensuring that we help create a radiant, bright and exciting future for racing fans, which is populated by incredible games delivered into the hands of more players than ever. “.
“Codemasters joins one of the strongest creative collectives in the industry alongside DICE, Respawn, Bioware, Criterion EA Sports and many others, and the shared knowledge and experience of this group paves the way for meaningful innovation for all. We look forward to providing Codemasters with all levels of support to drive success together, and we know we have a strong future ahead of us. “.