EA makes $1.2 billion Codemasters bid, challenging Take-Two

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Codemasters has been making Formula 1 games for the last decade, and the British developer has honed its craft in recent years, with the last two games being comfortably the best they have ever made.

A recent $870 million takeover bid by Take-Two Interactive, who have games like Red Dead Redemption, GTA, and NBA 2K under their umbrella, had fans wondering what F1 2K22 could look like.

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Now EA, the gaming giant behind FIFA & Madden, has swooped in with a stunning $1.2 billion bid for the racing developers.

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The next level

Codemasters has been producing strong racing games, with their most recent release, DIRT 5, providing the latest example.

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With the F1 licence comfortably in hand, Codemasters also scooped up the WRC licence which will see a five-year deal kick off in 2023.

Those titles alone put Codemasters in a strong position, but with the backing of a true gaming giant like Take-Two or EA these games could be taken to the next level.

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EA's racing pedigree

EA may be best known for games like FIFA, Madden, Star Wars, and Titanfall, but they do have a racing pedigree too.

Need For Speed is one of the most beloved racing franchises ever, with 2019's NFS Heat restoring the franchise somewhat after a few rocky releases.

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Of course, EA's racing games are all very much in the "arcade" side of the genre. While Codemasters doesn't produce out-and-out "sim" games, titles like DiRT Rally 2.0 are among the very best for realism, handling, and physics.

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Comments

Reacting to the news, both Codemasters and EA have released a few comments.

Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin said that both companies "have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category."

"We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience," Florin said in a statement.

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EA CEO Andrew Wilson added: "Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.

"With the full leverage of EA's technology, platform expertise, and global reach, this combination will allow us to grow our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base."

With reports only surfacing on Sunday evening, it remains to be seen if Take-Two will make a counter-offer. Given EA's larger market value it would seem unlikely.