EA’s plan to acquire the racing game factory Codemasters may have been one of the smartest purchases the company has ever made. With the big UK producer in its pocket, EA not only has access to IPs like Formula 1, Dirt and Grid, but it also has real talents that it can rely on with its own racing game properties.
With most of the heavy lifting done behind the scenes and all the paperwork signed, the only barrier now for EA’s new acquisition is for the sale to be approved by the relevant antitrust authorities, who will have the final say on whether the deal can go through or do not. It is likely to still happen, and EA is eager to start having an annual racing game coming on the scene as soon as the deal is closed.
On EA’s third quarter earnings conference call this week, COO Blake Jorgensen seemed very interested in the F1 franchise in particular, as well as EA being the standard name in racing games around the world, saying the genre is “one of the best growth opportunities that exist. “
On top of the fact that the Dirt Franchise, the Grid franchise, all of their franchises are incredible games, but none of them are actually taking advantage of a large publishing organization and the marketing muscle that we are able to deliver. And we think that has growth to it. Not to mention, the talent that can continue to help our Need for Speed business or our Real Racing business could be very powerful. So we know it is not a FIFA-sized business, but we know there is an incredible opportunity to own essentially all the driving business there is.
EA boss Andrew Wilson also added that EA sees an opportunity with Codemasters titles to add more live service elements, saying “F1 plus live service plus our marketing force is a great opportunity.” EA’s $ 1.2 billion acquisition of Codemasters is just one of several major deals that have taken place in recent months. Microsoft threw a staggering $ 7.5 billion at Bethesda’s father Zenimax, getting all the kids under the custody agreement, and this week saw the Embracer Group buy the Gearbox for $ 1.3 billion.