GDC 2019 - Codemasters focused on racing for future acquisitions, hints at making mobile purchases

GDC 2019 - Codemasters focused on racing for future acquisitions, hints at making mobile purchases

Racing specialist Codemasters' mergers and acquisitions strategy is centred on this genre for the near future.

CEO Frank Sagnier (pictured) told at GDC 2019 that the veteran UK studio is focusing on the racing genre for the time being, also hinting that it might be looking to expand its mobile capabilities in the near future.

This follows a partnership with Chinese games giant NetEase to release a mobile racing game. In that instance, Codies is providing tech, resources and assets, while the Chinese firm is handling development and publishing.

"We're looking at IP, teams and potentially skills," Sagnier said.

"We preferably want people who know racing, because we don't want to move away from racing at this point. There's too much growth to be had before we consider going to another vertical. They may not be a team making racing games, but if they can make racing games it's different. To be an artist, you don't have to be a racing specialist but you do need some knowledge. It could be just resources - pure studios, without IP. It could be IP; racing IP would be interesting to acquire; they either have a studio, the IP is available.

"Or it could be skills if we decide, for instance, to acquire a mobile company which is not what we are a specialist in. We do mobile games, but we're not as successful as we are today on console and PC. We haven't got the same reputation. We build triple-A big experiences on big screens; it's a little bit difficult to convert that onto a small screen, particularly when the dynamics of monetisation are very different and we haven't got the expertise that we have on console. Maybe we could acquire that expertise."

Codemasters floated in May 2018

You can read more about the impact of an IPO on Codemasters' business in our upcoming interview with Sagnier

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.