It seems 2020 is the year of the acquisition, with some of the biggest names in gaming being snapped up.
Take 2 Interactive (2k Games, Rockstar and more) are in talks to purchase legendary British software company, Codemasters, who themselves recently purchased Slightly Mad Studios for US$30m.
Codemasters was founded in 1986 by brothers David and Richard Darling, and went on to create some iconic franchises, with their current crop of racing IP (F1, DiRT, GRID) consistently scoring highly in reviews. They have also acquired the license to produce the officially licensed WRC games from 2023, with their first WRC game expected in 2024.
The deal has been stated to be worth GB£740m, and has been agreed upon by Codemasters’ board, pending all the necessary legislation.
It’s a big move that will bolster up Take 2 Interactive’s portfolio as, despite having some of the biggest sellers in many genres and owning Rockstar, which is arguably one of the best developers on the planet, they don’t yet have a foothold in the racing game market.
The news hasn’t gone down well everywhere, though, with many critics questioning whether Take 2’s tendency to want to extract every last penny from their franchises is going to result in expensive next-gen upgrades, endless loot-boxes, in-game ads and other less popular additions worming their way into Codemasters titles. It’s a valid concern, considering the furore surrounding NBA 2K and its loot boxes and unskippable ads.
Hopefully Codemasters will be allowed to continue doing what they do best without too much interference from the umbrella company, but only time will tell. In the meantime, though, Codemasters are in a strong position going forward, and we can continue to wait (im)patiently for the next game in the excellent DiRT Rally series with baited breath.