The biggest name in racing games has just got a whole lot bigger. Codemasters has announced it has acquired Project CARS 2 developer Slightly Mad Studios in what could well be a sensational deal for the prolific publisher. The British publisher paid out $30 million in cash and stock to Slightly Mad Studios, with SMS CEO Ian Bell staying on as the head of the studio at Codemasters.
British racing game developer Slightly Mad Studios is chiefly known for the Project Cars simulation racing series, although it did pitch in and help with Need For Speed: Shift and Shift 2: Unleashed back in the studio’s early days. SMS has been working on Project Cars 3 so this will now be a title published by Codemasters. In addition to this, Codemasters also confirmed the deal includes an “unannounced Hollywood blockbuster title”, backing up a long standing rumour that SMS is working on an official Fast & Furious game.
As for that daft idea to make a next-generation console called the Mad Box, we’d imagine that has been sensibly shelved.
“We are delighted to bring such an incredible racing game developer to the Codemasters family, and this unequivocally establishes us as a global powerhouse in the development of racing titles,” said Frank Sagnier, CEO at Codemasters. “We share the same passion and vision and our new partnership will accelerate our growth. With more streaming services coming to market and the next generation of games consoles due in 2020, this is the perfect time for Codemasters to take its next step.”
“Our combined racing games portfolio is the envy of the industry and this new partnership will enable us to learn from each other, share resources and take advantage of emerging platforms and technology,” said Ian Bell, Founder and Chief Executive at Slightly Mad Studios. “My team is excited to be joining Codemasters and we can’t wait to forge a relationship based on creativity, passion and the desire to create new racing experiences that excite and delight our communities.”
Codemasters was already a formidable force in the racing game scene and this move cements that. They’re up for Best Developer in the Global Game Awards thanks to launching GRID, F1 2019 and Dirt Rally 2.0 in this year alone. Throw Project Cars into the mix and Codemasters is the biggest name in racing.