EA plans to use Codemasters acquisition to release a new racing game every year

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EA plans to use Codemasters acquisition to release a new racing game every year

EA's planned acquisition of acclaimed British developer Codemasters could lead to the publisher releasing a new racing game every year, bringing the racer up to the level of other major EA Sports franchises like FIFA and Madden.

During a presentation accompanying EA's Q3 financial results, the publisher addressed its greater intentions for the upcoming acquisition, namely a plan to increase its presence in the racing genre.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson described racing as "one of the few truly global sports" during the company's earnings call, and it is one that EA has a notably smaller presence in.EA pointed to Codemasters' existing IPs; Dirt, Dirt Rally, Grid, Project Cars, as well as having the licenses for F1 and the World Rally Championship (the latter beginning in 2023).

At present, EA only has Burnout and Need for Speed in their stable of racing IPs, which haven't seen a new release since 2018 and 2019 respectively, hardly a release schedule on par with EA's other sports franchises. Adding the Codemasters stable of racers would give EA Sports a massive boost in the racing game market.

During the earnings call, COO Blake Jorgensens said: "On top of the fact that the Dirt Franchise, the Grid franchise, all of their franchises are incredible games, but none of them are actually taking advantage of a large publishing organization and the marketing muscle that we are able to deliver. And we think that has growth to it. Not to mention, the talent that can continue to help our Need for Speed business or our Real Racing business could be very powerful. So we know it is not a FIFA-sized business, but we know there is an incredible opportunity to own essentially all the driving business there is."

Wilson later added that EA sees potential in bringing EA's live service model to the Codemasters IPs, specifically F1, saying "F1 plus live service plus our marketing muscle is a profound opportunity."

EA started acquiring Codemasters earlier this month for a $1.2 billion price tag, after $1 billion offer from Take-Two Interactive fell through. EA's acquisition is expected to complete in Q1 of 2021, pending a shareholder vote from Codemasters.

2020 was a good year for Codemasters; following the release of F1 2020 and Dirt 5. F1 2020 was award with a 9/10 in our review and Dirt 5 received 8/10.

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