Racing studio Codemasters intends to buy Project CARS maker Slightly Mad

Date Type Companies involved Size
November 29th, 2019 acquisition Codemasters
Slightly Mad Studios
Racing studio Codemasters intends to buy Project CARS maker Slightly Mad

UK-based racing specialist Codemasters has announced its intention to the developer of Project CARS, Slightly Mad Studios.

The fellow racing developer is being snapped up for $30m, $25m of which will be shelled out in cash and the rest paid out in 1.8m units of stock. There's another $166m on the table if Slightly Mad hits performance milestones across 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Codemasters says that Slightly Mad is working on three games right now, including mobile release Project CARS Go. There's a movie license in the works, too, which is yet to be revealed, and a third game in one of the company's own franchises... which is no doubt Project CARS 3.

Over 150 people are joining Codemasters via the Slightly Mad purchase.

"Codemasters' acquisition of Slightly Mad Studios will create a global leader in the racing genre," CEO Frank Sagnier (pictured) said.

"Their focus on triple-A quality and the passion that they put into everything they create mirrors our own. Both companies have a number of world-renowned, successful franchises along with exciting product development pipelines, supported by leading IP and some of the best talent in the gaming industry.

"The enlarged Codemasters will have greater scale and reach, diversified, predictable revenue streams and the opportunity to bring outstanding entertainment to a far wider audience. We welcome Ian and his team to the Codemasters family and can't wait to start working together to create the future generation of racing franchises."

This follows Codemasters expanding its F1 team with a new studio in Birmingham in April and in October landing that license until 2025. When we caught up with Sagnier at GDC this year, the exec said that Codemasters was on the hunt for more acquisitions but that these were likely going to be on the mobile side of things.

2019 has been slightly more brutal for Slightly Mad, however. At the start of the year, the company announced its intention to release the insanely-speced but apparently reasonably-priced Mad Box games console.

The trademark for this hardware ran into problems after a similarly-named French games company filed an opposition to the filing, with Slightly Mad telling that the future of the machine was "questionable" after several investors pulled out in the wake of Google announcing its Stadia streaming platform.

In August, Modern Pick Entertainment snapped up a "substantial" stake in Slightly Mad.

This also means that racing development vet Paul Rustchynsky is back at Codemasters following his departure from the studio in 2018 following the launch of new IP OnRush. He joined Slightly Mad in August of that year

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

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.