Codemasters, the Leamington Spa-based video game developer and publisher, has extended its contract with Formula One Management for exclusive video game rights for the FIA Formula One World Championship franchise from 2021 until 2025, with a further option for the 2026 and 2027 seasons. The Agreement represents the longest extension in the partnership’s history, demonstrating the global success of the game and the shared vision for increasing the international appeal of F1.
F1’s popularity has experienced remarkable growth since Liberty Media’s acquisition in 2017. Social media followers have grown 193 per cent during this period to 23.8 million making it the fasting growing major sport across social media channels. The introduction of the New Balance F1 Esports Pro Series, which is now in Season Three, is engaging a younger demographic. Season Two delivered 5.5 million viewers across online and TV with a further 100 million social media impressions and the 2019 Qualifying phase had 109,000 participants. In July 2019, a new F1 esports tournament was announced for China.
Codemasters, based in South near Leamington Spa, has held exclusive rights to develop the official F1 annual franchise since 2008. Since its first release in 2009, the Codemasters’ F1 games have won multiple awards. The game has been shortlisted across several categories in the 2019 TIGA Awards and The Golden Joysticks. F1 Mobile Racing, which debuted in 2018, has over 12 million installs and went to number one in the Racing category in 150 countries.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Codemasters will pay a higher minimum guarantee to F1 in respect of F1 2020, which will then increase each year during the term of the Agreement. These increases in aggregate equate to a compound annual growth rate of approximately 12% between the F1 2019 and F1 2025 games. In return, Codemasters will receive advertising inventory and marketing support across F1 channels, including via trackside advertising at Grands Prix and a stronger presence on F1’s fast-growing digital channels. Codemasters will also work more closely with F1 to explore additional revenue opportunities.
F1 and Codemasters are confident in the continuing success of the franchise, and Codemasters will increase its investment in the game across the term to further enhance game modes, gameplay and content.
Frank Sagnier, Chief Executive of Codemasters, said:”The renewed long-term agreement with F1 is a testament to our successful partnership. The contract extends our exclusivity on the F1 game until 2025 (plus a two year potential extension thereafter) and the increased size and scope of the deal reflects our common ambitions to take the business to the next level. The growing number of addressable platforms combined with increased marketing support from FOM and the continued shift to more profitable digital sales and services give us full confidence we can not only continue to thrive as the no.1 sports racing game but also as one of the top global sport gaming franchises.”
Frank Arthofer, Director of Digital and Licensing at Formula 1, added: “Since 2008, Codemasters has been an invaluable partner to the franchise, consistently creating games of the highest quality and enabling fans to get even closer to the world of F1. Together we share a common vision for increasing the global appeal of F1 and the official video game of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP continues to be a key part of that strategy.”