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EA wants to release racing games annually after acquiring Codemasters

Codemasters acquires Project CARS developer Slightly Mad Studios

Electronic Arts is pushing for more annual racing games. EA CEO Andrew Wilson shared the news with the media this week that the focus for racing games for the mega-company will be more robust going forward. A big part of the push has already begun too.

During the release of the Q3 earnings for the company, Wilson was very clear. The pedigree of Codemasters as well as its ongoing deals in the genre present a unique opportunity for EA. The company will want to leverage that moving forward. Part of the deal seems to involve some GaaS, as well as some more aggressive release schedules. According to Wilson, “F1 plus live service plus our marketing muscle is a profound opportunity.”

“These are amazing teams that we know very well, and we are adding significantly to our racing portfolio to drive growth,” Wilson added. “We believe the combination of EA Sports and Codemasters can take the game franchise to an even greater level.”

The $1.2 billion acquisition of Codemasters would make it “a global leader in racing entertainment” and would “enable EA to release new racing experiences annually”. And that looks to be key in Electronic Arts’ approach to the market. The push would echo the approach to other sports games, but fans may not want that.

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The aggressive push for football, wrestling and other sports to keep to annual releases has blown back hard on many companies. EA in particular, along with 2K, have been bitten by this bugbear more than once. The push to get the games out leads to demonstrably buggy games with less innovation year-over-year. And when you include the inevitable loot boxes and other nonsense these companies are infamous for, it’s not a winning formula.

So while suspicion is there, EA is still being cagey. “On Codemasters, it’s still early – too early for us to kind of be able to outline all of that. Again, the deal hasn’t closed yet,” he stated. That means they have plans, but aren’t prepared to share them. Some fans feel like we’re in for bad news from an otherwise solid developer, and I’m inclined to agree.

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