Update: According to GamesIndustry.Biz, the deal is done and EA just paid $1.2 billion for Codemasters.
Racing games and Codemasters go together like my opinions on food and making people question my godawful taste. The UK studio has been pumping out racing games at a steady pace, and on average, they’re bloody excellent. This year’s Formula One game took pole position with ease, Dirt 5 is a next-gen drift-a-palooza of fun, and let’s not mention OnRush ever again.
Recently it was revealed that Take Two Interactive wanted a slice of that racing action, and had made an offer to purchase Codemasters for the cool sum of £725 million. In local currency, that converts to holy crap numbers. The plan was to drive a dumptruck of cash up to Codemasters, sign a contract and fold the company into Take-Two Interactive and give it a racing game studio that could reliably develop new games in a genre that it has very little of a foothold in. Presumably right after it was done adding a microtransaction that would unlock the ability to steer left in those games.
There a catch though: Electronic Arts is also interested in buying Codemasters.
According to Sky News, EA has thrown a counter-offer at Codemasters although the exact number isn’t known just yet, although it is “likely to be at a substantial premium to Codemasters’ closing share price on Friday of 534p” Sky reported. I’m going to guess and say it’s £725 million and one at least. While EA is working with bankers at UBS to make the cash offer, Take-Two’s deal would have been a mix of cash and market shares, which would have meant that the overall value of the deal would fluctuate based on how well the Red Dead owner’s stock was doing at any given time.
EA’s also got a lot more cash to flex, as its market capitalisation is valued at $40 billion, which is a whole lot more scratch than Take-Two’s $21 billion market cap. If EA does manage to acquire Codemasters, I’d happily play a Need for Speed game developed by the studio which is well-versed in every racing game sub-genre under the sun.
Last Updated: December 14, 2020