Take-Two, the parent company of GTA creators Rockstar, has been in talks with Codemasters to acquire the company for £725 million.
Now another gaming giant has entered the bidding war.
Take-Two Acquiring Codemasters
We reported last month that Take-Two was looking to acquire Codemasters for a reported £725 million ($973 million).
This deal would give them the ownership of the Dirt, F1, and Project Cars series of games.
Codemasters said in a statement of its own that the board intends to "recommend unanimously that Codemasters' shareholders accept the Possible Offer."
"Take-Two believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between Take-Two's 2K publishing label and Codemasters in the racing genre."
"In addition, Take-Two believes that it can bring benefits to Codemasters' performance by leveraging Take-Two's global distribution network and 2K’s core operating expertise in publishing, including live operations, analytics, product development, and brand and performance marketing."
Who Are Take-Two Interactive?
Take-Two Interactive began in 1993 as a game developer, publishing games such as Star Crusader and Black Dahlia, before becoming a publisher.
They began publishing games in 1995, but didn't get their big break until they acquired DMA Designs, later renamed as Rockstar North, and took ownership of the Grand Theft Auto series.
Over the years they acquired and started many studios.
Most notably Rockstar Games, the studio behind GTA, Max Payne, and Red Dead Redemption.
As well as 2K who developed the NBA, NHL, and WWE 2K series, as well as Borderlands and Bioshock.
Currently Take-Two Interactive has a market cap of $13 billion, making it the third-largest publicly traded game company in the Americas and Europe after Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts.
Who Are Codemasters?
Codemasters are the grandfathers of racing games and currently hold the licenses for most of the top racers.
Beginning in the 80s, they really found their footing in the racing genre in the mid 90s with the likes of TOCA and Colin McRae Rally.
The Colin McRae series is still around today, but is now branded as Dirt.
And they also hold the license for the F1 series of games, as well as GRID.
In 2019 they acquired Slightly Mad Studios, the developers behind the Project Cars series, adding yet another franchise to their list.
EA Joins The Bidding War
It is now being reported that EA has placed a big to acquire Codemasters instead.
An industry source has said that EA is working with bankers at UBS to put the deal together.
EA has a market value of almost $40bn (£30bn), almost double the value of Take-Two.
Adding Codemasters library of games would be a huge win for EA, adding to its already expansive library which includes FIFA, Madden, Need For Speed, and the Star Wars license.
It is uncertain whether Take-Two are looking to place a counterbid, but Codemasters shareholders have reportedly been unhappy with the deal that was put together for the acquisition.