Electronic Arts is buying Codemasters for $1.2 billion - Here's why

Electronic Arts today announced a new deal to purchase UK developer and publisher Codemasters. Electronic Arts has reached an agreement with the Board of Codemasters to buy the company for £6.04 (around $7.98) per share, which equates to a grand total of $1.2 billion. It's a big acquisition to be sure, and with it, it seems that Electronic Arts is looking to corner the racing game market.

Indeed, in a bulleted list of strategic rationale justifying the acquisition, the very first item on the list is consolidating the racing franchises owned by the two companies under one roof. EA, of course, is known for its Need for Speed franchise, but between DiRT, DiRT Rally, Grid, and Project Cars, Codemasters has quite a few more racing series under its belt.

There's no doubt that Codemasters' racing game prowess can help EA improve its own racing franchises, though EA says it'll be useful to Codemasters on several different fronts, including live services operations, game analytics, and technology. EA's resources will also be at Codemasters' disposal, potentially giving Codemasters easier access to things like localization, motion capture, and development technology.

Plans for what happens post-acquisition, obviously, are a little light at the moment, but there's no question that this is a buyout meant to help EA better compete in the racing genre. "Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category," Codemasters chairman Gerhard Florin said in a statement today. "The Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA's knowledge, resources and extensive global scale – both overall and specifically within the racing sector. 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."

It'll be some time before we see Codemasters operating under the EA umbrella, as the companies expect the acquisition to complete in the first quarter of 2021. We'll see what happens from here, but at some point in the near future, we can expect Codemasters to join EA's portfolio of game studios and publishers. Stay tuned.