Codemasters CEO: EA is like our Cinderella shoe, a perfect fit; They listen but don’t force us

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Codemasters joining EA in a $ 1.2 billion deal is one of three major gaming industry deals closed in recent months, alongside Embracer’s acquisition of Gearbox (valued at up to $ 1.37 billion, although most of that figure depends on meeting financial goals) Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda (for $ 7.5 billion).

With the dust starting to settle, Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters, along with Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, appeared in an interview in MCVUK’s latest digital magazine (number 967, May 2021), where the two executives provided an update on how the integration process is progressing between the two companies. Sagnier in particular was very enthusiastic about his statements.

The good news is that it went much faster than I expected. We are integrating. And I could tell you that in just two months it’s amazing how much we’ve integrated so quickly. And in all departments. It’s like the glove fits perfectly, as we found our Cinderella shoe, it fits perfectly!

EA brings scale with its sales and marketing muscles, live services expertise, state-of-the-art analytics platform, EA access, EA Play, Origin – just as much wealth that EA brings in terms of their services. We’ve had access to every opportunity. I’m not saying we’re going to take everything away. And that’s why it’s great, EA offers all the services, but don’t force us if it doesn’t fit. So it really is the perfect world at this point. And that’s why I’m so sure how much EA can do for Codemasters and hopefully vice versa, because they listen and we listen too.

They have expertise in racing … they already have Need for Speed, Real Racing, Burnout, it’s a great pool of IP. So it’s not like we were taken over by someone who doesn’t understand racing, and that makes a big difference.

The part about offering EA technology without any obligation to use it should spark hope among Codemasters fans who feared that the studio’s next games should be made with Frostbite instead of the EGO Engine, for example.

Sagnier went on to say that while the $ 1.2 billion figure could look daunting, he believes this will be looked back as a “ deal of the century ” type acquisition in a few years’ time.

At Codemasters we have grown enormously in recent years. From 2014, when I joined, to our last figures in March, we multiplied our sales by five and added £ 14 million in EBITDA. We achieved this by focusing on top quality games. We’ve seen how adding talent, like we’ve done with Evolution Studio and Slightly Mad, could bring us
a new level, but EA will unlock our maximum potential and in a way we haven’t seen before. So while we were known for authentic racing and simulation, EA can help us with culture, lifestyle and reaching out to a large audience in a way that we couldn’t do on our own.

It’s great when competitors come together because we don’t have to fight each other – we saw it when we bought the Evolution team or Slightly Mad. We can devise strategies on how best to engage our consumers, segment the different IP or areas we want to target, and focus on making the best games for our consumers. There will always be competition, of course, but working with such knowledgeable parties about racing makes our overall strategy much more efficient.

The first Codemasters game to be published under the banner of Electronic Arts and more specifically EA Sports is F1 2021, scheduled for July 16 on all major platforms.

Just today, the two companies announced seven iconic drivers added to the Digital Deluxe edition of the game: Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, David Coulthard, Felipe Massa. It has also been confirmed that the drivers are Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.

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