Warwickshire’s Codemasters goes Slightly Mad and buys fellow gaming studio for £150 million

Codemasters buys SMS

Codemasters, which has its headquarters at Southam, near Leamington Spa has agreed, subject to certain conditions, to acquire London-based Slightly Mad Studios Pte Ltd, a leading racing video game developer, for  up £152.2 million.

Codemasters will initially pay $30 million (around £23.3 million) in cash and $5 million in Codemasters shares, and the rest in cash and shares on completion and based on the achievement of certain milestones between 2020-2022.

Slightly Mad Studios was founded in 2009. It is an award winning multi-platform video game developer which develops commercially successful racing franchises and games including Project CARS and Need For SpeedTM Shift. Previously, many of the SMS team worked together at SimBin and Blimey! Games where they were responsible for the highly respected GT Legends and GTR series of racing games.

The proposed acquisition is expected to further raise Codemasters’ competitive barriers to entry in the racing game genre.

The purchase of Slightly Mad Studiosd diversifies Codemaster’s intellectual property portfolio, bringing three incremental game launches to the company during the year ending 31 March 2021. One of these games is Project CARS GO (a new mobile release), another is based on a licensed IP relating to a Hollywood blockbuster movie franchise (“Movie Franchise Game”), and the third game is based on a proven successful own franchise.

The acquisition will bring more than 150 product development individuals with experience in the racing genre.

Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters, said: “Codemasters’ acquisition of SMS will create a global leader in the racing genre. Their focus on AAA quality and the passion that they put into everything they create mirrors our own. Both companies have a number of world renowned, successful franchises along with exciting product development pipelines, supported by leading IP and some of the best talent in the gaming industry.

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.”