Earlier this year, EA completed a $1.2 billion acquisition of Codemasters, adding the publisher and all of its properties, including the likes of F1, GRID, DiRT, and more, to its arsenal. Given EA’s focus on sports releases, it was an acquisition that made a whole lot of sense, but as is always the case with such deals, there are some who are concerned about what this will mean for Codemasters going forward.
EA has given assurances in the past that Codemasters is going to continue to operate the way it always has even after the acquisition, and in a recent interview with MCV UK, EA CEO Andrew Wilson re-iterated that. Wilson says that much like Respawn Entertainment has retained its identity and continues to operate with some level of autonomy, so, too, will Codemasters retain its independence. According to Wilson, messing with the way Codemasters has done things up until now would be counterproductive, because that’s a big part of what made them the company that EA decided to spend so much cash on.
“Similar to Respawn, our orientation isn’t to come in and take over Codemasters,” Wilson said. “Our orientation isn’t to come in and turn Codemasters into another Electronic Arts studio; our orientation is around the provision of opportunity.
“This industry is all about amazing, creative talent. And we see little upside in the indoctrination of that amazing creative talent. But we do want to provide them access to the things that we get by virtue of our position in the industry.”
Wilson went on to talk about EA’s impressive “cupboard” of IPs, technologies, and more, and said that with access to that cupboard, Codemasters will now be able to flourish more.
“At Electronic Arts we have this amazing cupboard of IP and of technology, an amazing cupboard of marketing breadth, depth and reach on a global basis, and an amazing network of players,” he said. “And so the way we’re thinking about this, and it’s how we worked with Respawn, it’s more about handing Codemasters a set of keys to the cupboard, and they can come and take what they need from that cupboard, but they get to continue to be who they are, because that’s what made them special in the first place.”
Codemasters’ first game under the EA umbrella, F1 2021, is going to launch on July 16 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.