Two giants in the racing game genre have joined forces.
Codemasters, who developer DiRT, GRID, and the Formula 1 series have announced that they acquired Slightly Mad Studios, who are known for the Project CARS franchise. Codemasters reportedly paid $30 million in cash and stock to purchase Slightly Mad (thanks GameIndustry.biz). The new team is working on an unannounced Hollywood blockbuster title, according to Codemasters' website. Ian Bell will keep his position as Founder and CEO of Slightly Mad Studios. Codemasters now have 700 employees throughout Europe.
"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," Frank Sagnier, CEO of Codemasters, stated. "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."
Slightly Mad Studios is known for their Project CARS series. The first title in the series was released in 2015, and was followed up by a sequel in in 2017. A third game in the series is in development at the moment. The studio also worked on a few titles for EA, including entries in the Need for Speed franchise. The developer was working on their own game console, though they withdrew their filing to trademark the name Mad Box. The console was announced in January, with Ian Bell claiming that the machine would offer 4K support, VR support that would run 60fps per eye, and would be compatible with existing headsets, as well as various racing wheels and fight sticks. Slightly Mad claimed that the console would release around 2022, and would be competitive with upcoming console prices.