The racing game behemoth, Codemasters, has just finished the acquisition of fellow racing game developer Slightly Mad Studios for a cool $30million in cash and stock in an effort to cement their position at the top of the racing game genre. The much respected Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell will remain as the head honcho following the acquisition, and speaking on the take-over Frank Sagnier (Codemasters CEO) said “more streaming services coming to market and the next generation of games consoles due in 2020 makes this a perfect time to grow the company.”
If you didn’t know, Codemasters are behind most of the high profile racing games available, such as GRID, F1 (with the official licence), DIRT, and more, while Slightly Mad Studios has a smaller library of games under their belt with their biggest being Project CARS (published by Namco) which has a very strong and loyal following.
Slightly Mad Studios was first founded way back in 2009 and has always specialized in racing games, but not only for their own releases – they were also the developers behind the Need for Speed Shift series for EA. They are also working on a brand new game which is yet to be officially announced, but the rumour is that it will be a Fast and Furious game.
Interestingly, back in January this year Slightly Mad Studios CEO Ian Bell announced that they were working on a new, next-gen games console called the ‘Mad Box’, however, in April the company withdrew their trademark attempt for the Mad Box name and we haven’t heard anything of the new console since – does this mean it’s no longer going to become a reality? Or will it be a surprise launch next Christmas? I’m leaning towards the latter, but maybe now Codemasters own the studio we’ll learn some more about it, though I can’t see Codemasters wanting to enter the console market.
It’s exciting times for Codemasters, they now own nearly all of the game studios in the UK which create racing games, so it’s their time to dominate the market. Of course, it doesn’t always work like, such was the case with OnRush which led to some lay offs late last year due to poor sales (the game was actually really fun, so you should give it a go).