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Historic UK videogames firm Codemasters has been taken over by Electronic Arts in a $1.2 billion deal. 

Californian giant EA developer of the FIFA and other popular sports series of games, financed the monster deal with cash in hand. 

The deal will allow Codemasters to tap into EA’s established multi-platform subscription player base, around 430 million, to grow the racing titles it now specialises in. 

The Codemasters board recommended the EA offer late last year to shareholders, ending progress of a planned cash-and-stock deal with New York video game holding company Take-Two. 

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The Warwickshire-headquartered publisher rose to prominence in the 1980s with hit games including Dizzy but is now most famous for racing titles include Dirt, F1, Grid, and Project CARS 

EA said these will now sit alongside its own global Need for Speed franchise, Real Racing mobile game and its other EA Sports brands. 

“This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts.  

“Racing fandom continues to grow worldwide, and the franchises in our combined portfolio will enable us to create innovative new experiences and bring more players into the excitement of cars and motorsport.  

Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can’t wait to get started.” 

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EA will also bring deep data and analytics capabilities to the Codemasters development and publishing teams, providing audience insights to accelerate the performance of key franchises, as well as global publishing, marketing and game development support. 

“Today is a landmark in Codemasters’ history, and an exciting day for our employees and players,” said Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters.  

“The partnership with EA will enable our teams to take our highly-acclaimed franchises to new heights and reach a huge global audience through their player network.  

Together we can redefine the landscape of racing games to create even more compelling experiences for racing fans around the world.”