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Codemasters has approved EA’s $1.2 billion acquisition bid

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EA’s acquisition of Codemasters is all but sealed, after the studio’s board of directors voted in favour of approving the buyout this week.

In a court meeting, 63 of Codemasters’ 76 shareholders (representing 99% of held shares) approved EA’s takeover bid. With the board’s approval sealed, the acquisition deal now awaits a formal court hearing on February 16th. Should all go to plan, EA’s acquisition should be cemented by the end of Spring.

EA was a latecomer in the bid to acquire Codemasters, of course. The racing dev was previously in talks to be purchased by Take-Two for almost a billion dollars, before EA swooped in with a higher offer. Take-Two subsequently pulled out of the race, leaving EA free to follow through with its acquisition plans.

Codemasters’ arrival will bring EA some more serious-minded racing franchises to sit alongside Need For Speed and (the criminally slept-on) Burnout. But besides the F1 and Dirt series’, Codemasters also brings with it Project Cars developer Slighty Mad, which it acquired in 2019. It’ll also pay to see if EA has any interest in reviving the Operation Flashpoint series, the Codemasters-owned precursor to Bohemia’s Arma mil-sims.

EA’s racing output currently amounts to a new Need For Speed roughly once every two years, with the series now back in the hands of Criterion. But during Tuesday’s earnings call, EA said that it wants use the Codemasters acquisition to pitch itself as “a global leader in racing entertainment”, with the capacity to put out new “racing experiences” on an annual basis.

Elsewhere in EA’s earning’s call, the publisher stressed that it still has big plans for Star Wars—despite losing its exclusive rights to the franchise. EA is also “very confident” in BioWare’s future, despite the Mass Effect makers’ recent bombs.

Cheers, VGC.

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