video games

EA to buy racing game star Codemasters for $1.2B

Agence France-Presse

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EA to buy racing game star Codemasters for $1.2B

EA. In this file photo taken on June 10, 2017, a fan takes photos during the Electronic Arts EA Play event at the Hollywood Palladium on June 10, 2017 in Los Angeles

Photo by Christian Petersen/AFP

EA snatches the Codemasters prize from rival Take-Two, maker of 'Grand Theft Auto'

US video game maker Electronic Arts on Monday announced plans to rev up its racing offerings with the purchase of Britain-based Codemasters in a cash deal valued at $1.2 billion.

EA snatched the Codemasters prize from rival Take-Two, maker of notoriously lawless Grand Theft Auto, which had courted the company with a lower offer combining cash and stock.

“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category,” Codemasters board chairman Gerhard Florin said in a joint release.

“We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters.”

The stable of games at California-based EA ranges from popular franchises based on real-world sports such as FIFA to shooters, fantasy and Star Wars games.

Codemasters is known for its Formula 1 and DiRT racing video games.

“We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans,” EA chief executive Andrew Wilson said in the release.

“Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.”

The acquisition was expected to close early next year.

Video games have been seeing exceptional growth during the pandemic which has curtailed real-world activity and kept billions indoors.

EA has seen players flock to online sports in hit franchises devoted to soccer, baseball, and American football.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 hit the shelves in November, just two days after rival Microsoft released its newest Xbox, with the next-generation consoles vying for holiday season dominance.

Codemasters Group shares jumped more than 20% by the time trading closed in London. EA shares were up about a percent on the Nasdaq during mid-day trading on the Nasdaq. –

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