Take-Two Interactive is acquiring Codemasters, deal to be completed in 2021

DiRT 5
DiRT 5 (Image credit: Codemasters)

What you need to know

  • Take-Two Interactive is a major publisher of titles like 2K Games and Rockstar Games.
  • Codemasters is a U.K. developer and publisher known for racing titles like the Dirt franchise.
  • Take-Two Interactive is looking to acquire Codemasters for $973 million.
  • A full offer has to be made by December 4, 2020.

Update, November 10, 2020 (9:12 a.m ET): The deal has been agreed upon, for a total value of $994 milllion in both cash and Take-Two Interactive stock. The deal will close sometime in 2021.

Codemasters is one of the oldest U.K. game developers and publishers, first founded in 1986. Now, it appears that publisher Take-Two Interactive is looking to acquire Codemasters for $973 million. The press release notes that Take-Two Interactive would be paying roughly $1.58 per share in cash, with an additional rough $4.82 per share in Take-Two stock.

Take-Two has until December 4, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET to finalize the offer and terms. Take-Two's latest financials indicate the company is expecting to make $3 billion by the end of the year. Earlier in 2020, Take-Two confirmed that it had acquired Scottish developer Ruffian Games, which has been renamed Rockstar Dundee and integrated into Rockstar Games.

With the Rockstar Games, Private Division and 2K Games divisions under Take-Two, the publisher is clearly looking to step into the world of racing titles with the possible acquisition of Codemasters. Codemasters has hundreds of staff and has worked on major racing franchises like Dirt and F1, with the upcoming Dirt 5 a launch title for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5.

Update, November 10, 2020 (9:12 a.m ET) — Deal agreed upon

Take Two Interactive and Codemasters came to an agreement for a deal worth $994 million in both cash and Take-Two stock. Take-Two Interactive will be acquiring Codemasters, with the deal closing sometime in 2021.

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • Please Microsoft. Buy Codemaster and save us of suffer because of 2K Games and Rockstar
  • Improving Take2's own portfolio could entice Microsoft to buy Take2!!!
  • Mergers have been known to weaken a company's financials.
    CBS+VIACOM is valued at less than the two were as independents, forcing the new company to sell off assets.
    Take 2 is clearly looking to grow to be too big to swallow but as Zenimax discovered there is big and BIG!
    By the OP, Take 2's yearly gross is less than a month of Microsoft *net*.
    So yes, MS could easily buy the whole combo, but they've said their imminent interest is E to T games and, other than NBA, Take2 games work in the same gamer markets as Microsoft Studios.
    Actually, by financials alone, MS could more cheaply buy Ubisoft. (Surprisingly.)
    There's been a lot of fan speculation about SEGA and that might be a slightly better fit (for parts) if MS still has big hopes for Japan: they're facing tough times. If they don't right the ship they might have to sell parts of the company, say the game studios.
  • It wouldn't make sense for Microsoft to buy Codemasters. They already have Turn 10 and Playground Games making the best racing games of the last generation. And as far as I know the Dirt series doesn't sell huge enough numbers to justify it so it would just be redundant. It's not like buying Zenimax and getting proven system and graphics cards sellers like Doom, Fallout and Elder Scrolls. Sega or Warner Bros. Games would better fill out their gaming portfolio.
    I've never played a Dirt game so I don't know what their microtransaction situation is like. Do they have cosmetic microtransactions or loot boxes in their games?
  • Great....can't wait for unskippable ads in my $60 racing game full of loot boxes and microtransactions.
  • I live the f1 games and hope they continue to evolve and not be full of loot boxes and microtransactions.
  • Would love to see Microsoft revive Project Gotham Racing. Not sure if Codemasters would be the ideal studio for this?