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F1 game developer Codemasters approves EA takeover

Electronic Art’s acquisition of Codemasters, the producers of the official Formula 1 game, has taken a step closer to being completed after Codemaster’s board of directors voted in favour of the takeover.

63 of Codemasters’ 76 shareholders, which accounted for over 98% of the company’s shares, approved EA’s acquisition bid that is valued at $1.2 billion.

A formal court hearing has now been set for February 16, with the acquisition expected to be completed in the coming months.

Codemasters has produced F1 games every year since 2009, with the initial ‘F1 2009’ title released for Wii and PlayStation Portable consoles.

In 2010, the new version became available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and the studio has continued to produce a fresh edition each year, including through the transitions to new console generations.  

The current F1 2020 title is used for the sport’s Esports series, which has gained in popularity since its inception in 2017.

Codemasters was originally in talks with Take-Two, the creators of the popular Grand Theft Auto franchise, over a takeover deal.

However, video-game giant EA swooped in with a higher bid, leaving Take-Two to withdraw from negotiations, allowing EA to proceed as a prime candidate.

EA currently produces a number of other sport titles, including the FIFA, Madden NFL and NHL franchises, as well as the popular racing franchise Need for Speed.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, previously said that the company will be in a position to “lead in a new era of racing entertainment” through the creation of “innovative new racing games for fans”.

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