EA promises a hands-off approach with Codemasters

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Under Codemasters' stewardship the official Formula 1 game has become the most highly-rated sports title in gaming.

With F1 2021 on the way fans are excited to take the next step with Codemasters, but the purchase of the British studio by EA earlier this year has had players nervous about the future.

It seems those worries are unfounded though.

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Provision of opportunity

When someone spends $1.2bn on something, it's natural to think they will immediately be trying to squeeze every last cent back.

It doesn't seem like that is EA's priority here though, as the gaming giant seems to be letting Codemasters just be.

“$1.2 billion is a big number. But in a world where you’re looking for strategic strength, cultural fit, and really strong leadership, we think it’s a great opportunity to bring two great companies together.” Said EA CEO Andrew Wilson in an interview with MCVUK.com.

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“Similar to Respawn, our orientation isn’t to come in and take over Codemasters; our orientation isn’t to come in and turn Codemasters into another Electronic Arts studio; our orientation is around the provision of opportunity.

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“This industry is all about amazing, creative talent. And we see little upside in the indoctrination of that amazing creative talent. But we do want to provide them access to the things that we get by virtue of our position in the industry.”

That opportunity already seems to be bearing fruit, as anticipation for the next F1 title is at its highest in years.

With the introduction of more historic content through Icons, Codemasters is starting to create a true Formula 1 world within its games.

It will be fascinating to see where their ambition and EA's resources could take the franchise.

Beyond F1

Of course, Codemasters doesn't just do F1 games. They are masters when it comes to rallying and off-road racing, and know how to make a game simply FUN.

That expertise has been added to an EA library that includes quite a few racing IPs.

“Think about all the creativity, and creative leadership that the Codemasters teams have shown, and how that might affect our growing Need for Speed, and Real Racing businesses on console, PC and mobile, we just think it’s a match made in heaven."

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The thought of Codemasters taking the reins of Need For Speed is truly enticing for every race fan. While 2019's NFS Heat was a strong title, nothing has quite been able to recapture the peak of the franchise in the early 2000s.

With the expected Need For Speed 2021 title already postponed, fans have been waiting for an announcement that Codemasters would be taking over the franchise. That doesn't seem to be coming soon, as EA has said repeatedly that Criterion is still the home of Need For Speed.

However, with EA Play Live 2021 coming on the horizon, the impact of announcing the "next step" between these two would be truly huge.