The board of directors at UK gaming giant Codemasters has said it plans to accept a purchase offer from Californian video game company EA.

The offer price of 604 pence per share in cash represents an aggregate value of £945m ($1.2bn) for Codemasters’ issued and to be issued share capital.

The Warwickshire-headquartered publisher rose to prominence in the 1980s with hit games including Dizzy.

It is now most famous for racing titles include Dirt, F1, Grid, and the Colin McRae series. 

The deal ends progress of a planned cash-and-stock deal with New York video game holding company Take-Two.

The Codemasters board called EA’s offer “superior” for its shareholders and has withdrawn its recommendation of the offer made by Take-Two. 

EA said the acquisition is anticipated to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

“We feel this union would provide an exciting and prosperous future for Codemasters, allowing our teams to create, launch and service bigger and better games to an extremely passionate audience,” said Gerhard Florin, the Chairman of Codemasters.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts added: “We believe there is a deeply compelling opportunity in bringing together Codemasters and Electronic Arts to create amazing and innovative new racing games for fans.

“Our industry is growing, the racing category is growing, and together we will be positioned to lead in a new era of racing entertainment.

“With the full leverage of EA’s technology, platform expertise, and global reach, this combination will allow us to grow our existing franchises and deliver more industry-defining racing experiences to a global fan base.”

Video games