Take-Two Interactive has officially announced an agreement to acquire Codemasters, the UK publisher behind the newly released Dirt 5. The acquisition is expected to be completed early next year.
In a statement, Take-Two says it feels Codemasters is “highly complementary” with its 2K games label, and that Codemasters’ operations will benefit from Take-Two’s distribution and marketing resources. It also notes that this creates a wider range of game properties, combining their sports and racing portfolios, and calls out Codemasters for having a regular release cadence to its racing games.
“We are exceedingly pleased to announce this recommended transaction with the Board of Codemasters,” said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, in the announcement. “Codemasters has a renowned history of creating some of our industry’s most beloved and commercially successful racing franchises, and we believe that their offerings will be highly complementary to our sports portfolio and enhance further our organization’s long-term growth. Moreover, we look forward to welcoming Codemasters’ senior management and development teams into our Take-Two family, and sharing in our vision to deliver the highest quality entertainment experiences and aim to be the most innovative, creative and efficient company in our industry.”
This follows reports last week that the two companies were in talks, which was confirmed by both. At the time, those reports gave a December 4 deadline to make an offer, so it happened well before then.
Take-Two has a lot of big properties under its belt, including Rockstar’s GTA and Red Dead Redemption 2, Borderlands 3, 2K Sports, and the relatively new Private Division label. Codemasters is known for racing games like Formula 1 games, Dirt, Grid, and OnRush. Its most recent release is Dirt 5, which is available on current-gen platforms as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X / Series S.
“Dirt 5 is a very different game to the previous three entries in Codemasters’ off-road racing series,” Richard Wakeling wrote in GameSpot’s Dirt 5 Review. “Codemasters is looking to diversify the series’ mainline entries by returning to the arcade spectacle and histrionics of Dirt’s early years with Dirt 5.”
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