The takeover of British racing game developers Codemasters, developers of F1 2021, has rumbled on for a while, but things are now gathering pace.
In a recent shareholder meeting, the proposed $1.2bn takeover by US giants Electronic Arts (EA) was given the go ahead.
Shareholders vote in favour of takeover
Unsurprisingly, given prior announcements that the board would vote to approve, the Codemasters shareholders have also voted to approve the deal.
The confirmative vote was labelled as unanimous even though 63 of the 76 major shareholders voted in favour. This is due to those 63 votes holding 99% of the shares.
Now that the shareholders have given their approval, the next step is a court hearing.
This will take place on 16 February. With competition regulators in Germany and Austria already approving the deal, this isn't likely to be a stumbling block.
Observers expect the EA buyout to conclude by the end of Q1, when Codemasters will be owned by Codex Games, an indirect subsidiary that EA established on 9th December 2020.
What impact will this have on Codemasters games?
The immediate impact is that their next release could have the EA logo in the starting credits. Other than that it is unlikely there will be much short-term impact.
F1 2021, expected to release in June/July 2021, is already well into development. Making drastic changes could be highly detrimental.
Any changes in creative direction, gameplay style, and monetization is likely to come in any November 2021 release or in games that arrive in 2022.
EA has already talked about the growth opportunities the Codemasters acquisition would allow, including more annual racing titles being released.