Take-Two Interactive, whose franchises include BioShock, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, NBA 2K, and Red Dead, have pulled their $980 million bid to purchase Codemasters, a British game developer and publisher based in the UK. A month ago, the NY-based company was outbid by EA, which offered $1.2 billion to purchase Codemasters.
According to VGC, Codemasters failed to hold a shareholder meeting before January 12, 2021, which enabled Take-Two to withdraw their bid. The company is now said to be weighing other options to expand its portfolio. Meanwhile, EA is expected to finalize its acquisition of Codemasters in the first quarter of 2021.
After withdrawing their bid, Take-Two released a statement that reads, “Take-Two remains a highly disciplined organization and, with its strong balance sheet, will continue to pursue selectively organic and inorganic opportunities that are designed to enhance the Take-Two’s long-term growth and deliver results to its shareholders.”
Codemasters, which acquired Slightly Mad Studios, the developers of Project CARS and Fast & Furious Crossroads, in November 2019 for $30 million, is known for hit racing franchises like F1, Dirt and Grid. The company also holds the rights to the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
In a statement last month, Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts, said, “We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans. Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.”
“We have admired Codemasters’ creative talent and high-quality games for many years. With the full leverage of EA’s technology, platform expertise, and global reach, this combination will allow us to grow our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base,” he added.
EA, which publishes the FIFA, Madden NFL and Need for Speed franchises, hopes their acquisition of Codemasters will help them retain a larger share of the racing game market and compete with Sony’s Gran Turismo and Microsoft’s Forza franchises, which are exclusive to their respective platforms. In addition, EA’s global publishing, marketing and game development support will enhance Codemasters capacity for expansion.
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