Codemasters acquires Project CARS dev Slightly Mad Studios

Joanna Estrada
November 30, 2019

As such, Codemasters' impressive portfolio of racing titles now features Project CARS and another unannounced game from Slightly Made Studios, exclusively described as a "Hollywood blockbuster". Slightly Mad Studios has also delivered high-quality racing simulations alongside its own IP including two Need for Speed titles on behalf of Electronic Arts.

There hasn't been much talk around the console since then, and more importantly, it also didn't get a mention in Slightly Mad's recent acquisition by Codemasters. The pair have agreed an upfront fee of $30m to clinch the deal - $25m in cash and $5m in stock.

A spokesperson briefed GamesIndustry.biz that the maximum earnout is $166 million (£128.9 million), but the financial analyst Liberum expects the actual amount to be approximately £52.6 million ($67.9 million).

This next step for Codemasters, said Sagnier, secures the company as a "global powerhouse in the development of racing titles".

"The enlarged Codemasters will have greater scale and reach, diversified, predictable revenue streams and the opportunity to bring outstanding entertainment to a far wider audience. We welcome Ian and his team to the Codemasters family and can't wait to start working together to create the future generation of racing franchises".

Taking on Slightly Mad now means the ever-expanding Codemasters Group portfolio now has five game studios, and around 700 employees between them.

"Our combined racing games portfolio is the envy of the industry and this new partnership will enable us to learn from each other, share resources and take advantage of emerging platforms and technology", added Slightly Mad Studios boss Ian Bell.

Established in 2009, Slightly Mad Studios developed Need for Speed Shift and Shift 2 Unleashed for EA (plus Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends for Rombax Games) before investing in developing Project CARS and its sequel, which were distributed in partnership with Bandai Namco. It looks like Slightly Mad is going back to doing what it does best: Making racing games.

To get the deal over the line Codemasters has chose to do a share placing, at £2.10 per share, to raise $20m.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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