Update: 14/12 9:27AM - Take-Two Interactive has issued an official response to EA muscling in on its purchase of Codemasters. Take-Two says it is "considering its position" in relation to Codemasters and will issue a further announcement "when appropriate". Original story follows below.
Original story: Gaming giant EA is to purchase British developer Codemasters in the first quarter of 2021. The studio was originally going to be bought up by Take-Two Interactive, but EA's offer has trumped that of Take-Two by more than $200 million.
What will EA pay for Codemasters?
According to a press release, Codemasters shareholders will receive around $8 for each share, with a total enterprise value of around $1.2 billion. This dwarfs the previous Take-Two offer, which valued the studio's shares at $6.39 and valued the studio itself at around $994 million. Previously, Take-Two was to gain the rights to the British studio's sports franchises such as Formula One; now, it seems those rights will go to EA instead.
Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin says the studios have a "shared ambition" to be leaders in the field of racing video games. He goes on to say the acquisition will result in an "exciting and prosperous" future for both companies. On EA's part, CEO Andrew Wilson calls the acquisition "a deeply compelling opportunity" to deliver more "industry-defining racing experiences" to racing game fans. Wilson says EA has admired the British developer's "creative talent and high-quality games" for many years, and that EA will be giving Codemasters the "full leverage" of its technology and expertise.
What does EA's acquisition of Codemasters mean for the developer?
Codemasters is the developer of franchises such as F1, Dirt, and Project CARS (after its acquisition of Slightly Mad Studios last year). EA will acquire the rights to those franchises along with its purchase of the British developer, which will mean F1 joins its stable of sports franchises alongside Madden, FIFA, and others. We don't yet know what kind of games will result from the extra funding or support the studio will presumably receive as a result of the acquisition. One imagines they would end up taking over EA's Need for Speed franchise as well. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.
How do you feel about EA acquiring Codemasters instead of Take-Two? Let us know in the comments below!