It all started with Take-Two Interactive making a nearly $1 billion USD offer to purchase Codemasters, the developer of many beloved racing games. Codemasters’ board was, understandably, very open to this, and recommended that the deal be taken. And then EA showed up with a bid for $1.2 billion USD. Afterward, said recommendation was rescinded as the board began to eye the significantly more lucrative EA deal. While this was no doubt a bit worrisome to fans of the venerable racing studio, Take-Two announced yesterday that it has removed itself from the equation entirely.
Now, nothing stands in the way of EA’s bid to purchase Codemasters. The developer holds the rights to, and is behind titles in multiple major racing series, including Dirt, Grid, and the F1 games. Most recently, the company released Dirt 5 to solid reviews, albeit highly mixed fan response. Our review found the game to be entertaining and packed with content. As a developer, it’s had a long history of high-quality racing games that have been enjoyed by fans of sim and casual racers alike. As such, I hope to see Codemasters continue onward normally with minimal changes, as it’s been a veritable rock for the racing scene.
Through the darkness of future past
Of course, if EA does acquire the studio, the risk of that not happening increases significantly. EA famously purchased another excellent company, Criterion Games, and took it off its own franchise and put it on the Need For Speed games. Eventually, EA ended up gutting the studio and splitting it between its original name and Ghost Games, before eventually removing both from the playing field and giving the franchise to another developer.
Obviously, any statement that the same awful fate will befall Codemasters would be purely speculation, but the concern still remains. Here’s to hoping that we keep getting great Dirt games for years to come.