F1 2020 screenshot

EA plans “more racing games, more often” after buying F1 game maker Codemasters

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In the round-up: The company behind the official Formula 1 game series has been taken over by Electronic Arts.

Codemasters purchased by Electronic Arts

EA has spent $1.2 billion (£860 million) to acquire Codemasters, which has held the rights to the official Formula 1 game since 2009.

The deal puts the F1 game franchise in the same hands as the company which produces official titles for FIFA (football), NFL (American football), NHL (ice hockey) and others. Codemasters is contracted to produce the official F1 game until 2025, with a further two-year option.

“We’re thrilled by this new opportunity to bring you even more racing games, more often,” said EA in a statement. “The union also unlocks the potential for us to create new innovative ways to interact with each other and enjoy our passion for racing games together.”

Historic Monaco Grand Prix entry list

Pastor Maldonado will compete in the Historic Monaco Grand Prix at the wheel of a pre-war Maserati.

Maldonado, who received a lengthy ban after his involvement in a serious crash during a Formula Renault 3.5 race at Monte-Carlo in 2005, is among those on the entry list for the 12th running of the Historic Monaco Grand Prix in April.

The 2012 Spanish Grand Prix winner, who left F1 five years ago, will drive a 1937 Maserati 4CM in the A Series class.

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Comment of the day

Alexander Albon’s promotion to Formula 1 was too hasty, argues Adam:

I still think he was judged unfairly. The guy had no experience with F1 machinery before joining Toro Rosso and even then was parachuted in at the last minute, and halfway through his rookie season he switches teams to a front-running car alongside a guy widely considered to be one of the current best.

He gets one full season with one team who openly admit his car was made of bits and pieces, has some unlucky races where he could have grabbed podiums or a win and really was not far off a much more experienced Gasly in the same vehicle.

Given the guy’s extreme inexperience and total lack of learning time or patience I think he did pretty well, and deserved to be around a lot longer. Certainly promoted to a frontrunning car too early but was nowhere near as bad as he was attacked for, and certainly didn’t deserve his F1 career to be over in just two seasons.
Adam (@rocketpanda)

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Rubens Barrichello hinted at Ferrari’s potential for the upcoming season by breaking the Mugello track record in testing with a lap of 1’22.139 in his F2001. For comparison, last year’s pole position time was around seven seconds quicker.

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Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “EA plans “more racing games, more often” after buying F1 game maker Codemasters”

    1. I sure hope that Maserati has insurance. Not a car I would trust with Maldonado

    2. Oh joy, EA gets to ruin another franchise

      1. I can imagine all of the ‘improvements’ EA will make. Paid loot boxes to unlock classic cars, you’ll be hoping to get Senna’s mclaren but instead you will get Villneuve’s Red Winfield Williams from the 1998 season. Graphical glitches where pit crew go flying across the track (look up ‘FIFA glitches’ on you tube for laughs). Always online servers that will crash without fail on release dates. The games won’t be any good under EA but they are good for a laugh

        1. RatSack

          hoping to get Senna’s mclaren but instead you will get Villneuve’s Red Winfield Williams

          thanks for the laugh, that does show the risk involved :)

        2. Codemasters wasn’t exactly that clean either – for example, it’s known that at least one of the classic cars that appeared in their games was actually made by a modder for another game, and they copied and pasted the model into their game.

          Not only did the developer admit that was what they did, they weren’t even that sorry about it – rather shoddy behaviour to say the least.

      2. You say this but they published the rFactor’s dev ISI F1 games back in the early 2000’s. I remember the F1 Challenge game used to have an active modding community way back when.

        Obviously not the same company as they were then but there’s still some good history there.

        1. @marinatedmonolith that’s history, the only thing EA is interested right now is pumping out paid content, loot boxes and whatever else they can do to suck the money out of their customer’s wallets.

          1. Not much of a gammer now other than F1 but I remember the EA games F1 and they were brilliant for their time. And as said it was the stepping stone to Rfactor which is still miles ahead of Codemasters F1 effort.

            Hopefully it brings it forward. The amount the current game crashes well racing online is painful so if they just improve that id be happy.

            1. The worry is that F1 2020 is incredible stable online when compared to FIFA.

              EA Sports built their name off of making decent games but these days, they just buy up licences and then copy and paste from year to year often leaving bugs in there that have existed for several iterations of the same game.

              In their American Football game, Madden 2020, didn’t even even take the time to update the logos on assets in the game so the sponsor boards still said Madden 2019….

      3. I’m actually encouraged by EA taking over the official F1 game, as that probably means the end of F1 eSports using it (eventually) as its reputation reaches rock bottom.

    3. Seb’s Prancing Discount Car Sales Store:

      But when asked by auto motor und sport, Vettel’s press advisor Britta Röske confirmed the whole story. The four-time world champion does not want to comment publicly about the reasons for the sale. Of course, that leaves room for speculation…

      Poor Seb. Million a year doesn’t stretch as far as it once did. Expect he’s selling the 5 Ferraris to his new boss to supplement his meager income.

      1. Not as dire as that, @jimmi-cynic.

        Het just wants to save at the service station.

        In der Vergangenheit hat sich der F1-Star bereits öfter kritisch über hohe Benzinverbräuche geäußert.

      2. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
        19th February 2021, 9:05

        Being Vettels press advisor or publicist must be the easiest job in the world.

      3. What do you really need 8 cars for though?

    4. With regards to the games, I hope EA can do a similar job or better than codemasters in getting closer to the feeling of realistic cars. At the moment, the cars in F1 2020 are slower than the real life counterparts in slow speed corners, while the f1 2020 cars are just rocketships on a straightline. I also think dirty air effect is so minimal still, allowing easy DRS trains in F1 2020 game.

      COTD: Red Bull need to not rush driver development. Bottas took at least 2 years to be able to consistently match Hamilton in qualifying and in some occasions in the races. Hamilton took I think 2 years to also get accustomed to the Mercedes car handling. Some drivers do require time to extract the maximum performance out of the cars. I think Red Bull should have kept Albon for this season since he has already had 2 years in the team. Although I hope I am proven wrong by Perez.

      1. @krichelle Hamilton won the WDC in his second season at Mercedes, so I don’t quite get what you imply.
        Yes, Red Bull could’ve kept Albon as a regular driver, but in this case, they would’ve risked possibly starting to lose out to teams behind, not only Mercedes, so they had to do something.

        1. Bottas took at least 2 years to be able to consistently match Hamilton

          Not sure why you use past tense, but I agree with the ‘at least’.

        2. I remember reading an article stating that Hamilton still had brake issues with the W05 in 2014, and that the balance of that car was enough for Hamilton to handle.

      2. Nico was on par with Hamilton in their first season together, and kept Hamilton honest in 2014 as well. Not an unfair assumption IMHO.

    5. Instead, the next F1 game gets negative reviews, the next FIFA game still gets negative reviews, and the next Need for Speed whilst still good on some aspects, still average reviews.

    6. Re Mclaren tweet, here’s the full lap if anyone’s interested:
      https://youtu.be/LrXbcuGst9I

      István Kapitány (from Ferrari post) looks somewhat like Jay Leno, LOL.

      Re COTD: There are parts I agree and don’t agree with, so mixed feelings regarding Albon in F1 thus far. Gasly has raced in F1 one full season more than Albon, so not necessarily ‘much more’ experienced, but still not far off, and in 2019, Albon fared better in the nine races he did at RBR versus Gasly in the first twelve. Last season was pretty much the same story as Gasly’s short-lived stint in the senior team, though, which justified the change for this year’s campaign. Maybe his F1 career isn’t over yet, depending on if a team other than the two Red Bull-owned ones might be willing to take him later as becoming a regular driver at RBR again will be difficult. Even the B-team because of Red Bull’s academy drivers in F2.

    7. So expect more arcade games with the lootboxsystem attached to it, just like fifa.

      Instead of games with higher quality, fewer bugs and more realism.

    8. I’m optimistic for the EA takeover. Sure, they’ll want to squeeze money out of us but at least they’re pretty much guaranteed to offer some DLC, contrary to Codies.

      I would gladly pay for more classic cars and hopefully finally some more tracks.

    9. COTD, thanks. I hope Albon does come back, but knowing F1 I doubt it.

      Probably an unpopular opinion, but does anyone remember the F1 Mario Kart styled game? I think it was called Race Stars, and I quite liked it! It was a bit dumbed down but I think the idea was pretty sound. If EA want to develop more racing games based on F1 I kinda hope they’d do a new one, especially as Nintendo seem to have forgotten Mario Kart’s a thing.

    10. What we need is an F1 version of Motorsport Manager. EA should do that, in tandem with the regular releases.

    11. EA, geez. Will any new games be a sim? Will they even support a wheel?

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