Well, it was unexpected. Codemasters, the UK developer behind countless racing franchises including Dirt, Project Cars and the annualized F1 games, was captured by EA. Just over a month ago, Take-Two Interactive, the owner of 2K and Rockstar Games, announced that it had reached an agreement with the Codemasters board. The deal valued the racing studio at just under $ 1 billion. Today, the board of directors confirmed that “it has withdrawn its recommendation from the Take-Two offer” and instead put its weight behind the acquisition of EA. No reason was given, but we assume that money played a role in the decision. The deal with EA, after all, values Codemasters at $ 1.2 billion.
EA already owns the Need for Speed and Burnout franchises. However, neither series is in the right place at the moment. Ghost Games developed Need speed rivals (2013), Need of speed (2015), Need for Speed Payback (2017) and Need for quick heat (2019), all of which received mixed reviews. Earlier this year, EA renamed the developer and made it a support-focused engineering studio. The Need for Speed license, for its part, was donated to Criterion Games, the Guildford-based studio behind Need for Speed pursuit, (2010) and Need for speed: most wanted (2012). Criterion also worked on Burnout Paradise (2008), the last major entry in the racing series.