Codemasters have been considering a takeover bid from both Take Two and EA for the past few months. Take Two have since pulled out, leaving EA as the only suitor for Codies.
Codies' shareholders have now given the greenlight for the EA takeover to go ahead, which has all but sealed the deal.
While many racing gamers aren't looking forward to the change in leadership, there are some reasons to be optimistic. We've highlighted five of the best reasons to be hopeful of the ownerships at Codemasters.
Cross-platform play has transformed from a feature that very few games have to being something games can't do without. Crossplay allows gamers to compete and play with each other online despite being on different consoles.
We've been calling for the F1 games to get crossplay enabled for a while now and series like Dirt and Grid would also benefit from the feature.
The issue for Codies is that it would take a lot of time and effort to implement this feature. This is especially true when they've never done it before, but that's not the case for EA.
Both Need for Speed Heat and NFS: Hot Pursuit Remastered have crossplay enabled. The F1 game especially would benefit from crossplay, as online is a side to this series that is still lagging behind (more on that later).
Ever since Codemasters bought the rights to the Formula 1 games in 2009, the lack of a huge budget has held them back. Codies have improved on this side of things by allowing driver transfers and to create your own team.
There's still a ways to go though, as the damage model in the F1 games is held back by the licence. With EA financing the F1 series, this shouldn't be a problem going forward, as they can simply buy their way into being allowed to enable proper damage in their games.
Similarly, having video gaming A-listers acting in Codies' games like Troy Baker and Nolan North in DIRT 5 could become commonplace.
It's just a thought but imagine Rush stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl making an appearance in a future F1 game as James Hunt and Niki Lauda, yes please!
Bigger focus on online
Most of Codies' titles have been primarily single-player games. Both DIRT 5 and F1 2020 have attempted to shift to a more online focus, with the former having a lot of success with Playgrounds.
Creating our own Formula 1 circuits in a track creator mode, no matter how crazy, and racing them against friends online would be fantastic.
Something else we'd like to see are more scenario race modes. This time though, we want them to be where you jump into the crash helmet of a driver that had a great race in real life.
For example, playing as Lando Norris in the closing stages of the Austrian GP and needing a fastest lap to get onto the podium. Or racing as Kevin Magnussen in a slow Haas at Hungary and attempting to stay in the points.
F1 Ultimate Team
We've wanted this game mode in the official F1 game for years now, and it soon could be a reality.
Ultimate Team is a virtual trading card game that has been popularised by the FIFA football series, another franchise EA already owns.
It wouldn't be a stretch at all to say that F1UT is in the works. The drivers in My Driver mode have attributes and even look like Ultimate Team trading cards.
This could be expanded to F3 drivers as well as drivers that have since left the sport but not retired from motorsport. Cars can also get cards to make your team, as well as including Team Principals from both past and present.
One thing that EA has definitely been impressive with is the shear number of "legends" in FUT. Imagine that in F1 form, opening a pack and getting the great Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna.
You can expect this to be a mode with microtransactions, but it's not a mode you'd have sink money into. Packs could be awarded through the Podium Pass and milestones in single player modes.
And it's not just new game modes that we can expect, but new game series as a whole!
Codemasters currently have a few series that they're developing. The Official Formula 1 game of course, Dirt with its split between uber-realistic DiRT Rally and the arcady DIRT 5, and Grid. Codies have definitely chosen to prioritise quality over quantity, something that a small studio should do.
Like we've mentioned previously, Codies being under the EA umbrella will mean that the studio will have a bigger budget. This will likely mean that their premises will be expanded, and they can develop more games.
We've pondered whether the IndyCar video game series would be revived under EA, but the possibilities don't end there. TOCA is another series we'd love to see return, whether it be a remaster or long-awaited sequel.
Let's not forget either that Codies own Slightly Mad Studios, which produce the Project Cars games. Furthermore, EA also own the rights to the Need For Speed and Burnout series.
There are plenty of positives that could come from this move for race fans.
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