Legendary British developer Codemasters has let go an as yet unknown number of staff as part of cutbacks implemented by their current owner Electronic Arts.
A statement from EA reads "Our business is constantly changing as we strive to deliver amazing games and services that keep our players engaged, connected, and inspired. At times, this requires the company to make small-scale organizational changes that align our teams and resources to meet evolving business needs and priorities. We continue to work closely with those affected by these changes, providing appropriate support throughout this process."
Codemasters, founded by brothers David and Richard Darling in 1986 went on to have huge success across home computer and console markets with titles such as Micro Machines and Dizzy before moving onto becoming racing game specialists via their Colin McRae Rally, Dirt, F1 and World Rally Championship games.
They went on to produce the official F1 mobile game, F1 Mobile Racing in collaboration with Eden Games.
Rapid expansion pre takeover
Codemasters acquired Slightly Mad Studios, the developers of the Project CARS, in November 2019 for $30 million. The acquisition brought the total staff at Codemasters to about 700 people. The studio also acquired the exclusive license to the World Rally Championship series in June 2020 in a five-year deal in 2023, with plans to release their first game in 2024.
Subsequently EA acquired the company in 2020, stepping in to scoop up the developer after a takeover deal with Take 2 was all but complete. EA paid an increased bif of $1.2 billion in order to secure their services.
“Electronic Arts and Codemasters have a shared ambition to lead the video game racing category," Codemasters chair Gerhard Florin said at the time. "The Board of Codemasters firmly believes the company would benefit from EA’s knowledge, resources and extensive global scale – both overall and specifically within the racing sector. We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience."
Soon after the purchase was complete Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier left the company along with chief financial officer Rashid Varachia.
More recently EA merged the teams of UK-based and EA-owned Criterion Games and Codemasters to work on upcoming games in the Need For Speed franchise with comic book-styled Need For Speed Unbound, the most recent game achieving fair review scores but failing to catch fire in the market.
At the time of writing it’s not known which teams and which products will be affected by these latest lay-offs.