Reported by Sky News late last night, gaming giant and everyone’s favourite anti-hero EA have outbid Take Two Interactive in an aggressive move to acquire UK developer Codemasters. This “potentially knockout bid” will of course exceed the previous bid made by Take Two of £725 million. That’s just under $1 billion.
Codemasters’ F1 Series has proved popular with casual gamers and pro-drivers alike
It is expected that the full detail of the bid will be revealed to the markets later this morning. Sky reports that EA are working closely with bankers at UBS on its offer. This comes after Take Two, parent company of both Rockstar Games and 2k reportedly bid for ownership back in November of this year. However, Sky reports that Codemasters shareholders saw this initial offer as unfavourable as it represents a lower than expected premium. This could mean that EA are in a good position to seal the deal, providing Take Two don’t offer up a counter bid.
With both EA and 2K owning significant interests in sporting franchise, interest in Codemasters’ popular F1 perennial must be at the very heart of the respective interest. Well, it’s probably more of a pull than the Dizzy IP, at least. But whatever the reason behind the bidding, this is set to become a titanic battle of two gaming giants.
The Lesser of Two Evils
But what does this mean from a gamer’s perspective? Whilst EA’s malfeasance in the on-going lootbox fiasco is well documented, 2k do not come to the party with clean hands. Reported in October, NBA 2K20 launched with ads hardcoded into the experience. 2k later removed this “feature”, but not without significant media backlash. So whichever of these superpowers takes the win, we can expect the F1 formula to change. And not necessarily for the better.
Of course this is all moot for Codemasters. Who wouldn’t want to be at the centre of a bidding war between two of biggest players in the industry?Watch this space for more news as it breaks today.
Source; Sky News
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020