A popular game development company announced (Electronic Arts) EA announced today, Monday, an agreement to buy British company (Codemasters) Codemasters, which specializes in developing car racing games, for $ 1.2 billion.
The new deal with EA led to the reversal of a previous agreement between Codemasters and rival game developer Take-Two Interactive, which last month agreed to acquire the British company for 726 million pounds ($ 971 million).
Codemasters Corporation said statement: “Codemasters’s Board of Directors looked at various aspects of the EA Offer, and concluded that the EA Offer is a distinct offer for Codemasters shareholders compared to the Take-Two Offer”.
EA said Codemasters shareholders will receive £ 6.04 in cash for every ordinary share of Codemasters. She added that the deal is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2021.
The acquisition of Codemasters represents the largest deal in EA’s history, and it comes amid the explosive rise in the video game industry, as the Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated demand for games.
And last September, Microsoft announced that it would buy ZeniMax Media, the company that owns the famous game studio Bethesda Softworkds, for $ 7.5 billion, in the largest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history.
Codemasters is mostly known for developing Formula One and Dirt. With the acquisition of the company, it is expected that EA will be able to offer better options in car racing games alongside the popular racing game series Need for Speed.
Shares of the games company rose by 0.8 percent in pre-market trading in the United States.
“It’s clear that EA wants to be seen as the leading publisher in racing games,” Louise Shortthus – Senior Games Analyst at Ampere Analysis – told CNBC.
Shortus added that the deal could allow Codemasters to play games to a wider audience, as its games are likely to be launched on EA’s subscription service EA Play, which is also available through a Microsoft subscription platform.