Codemasters has acquired Slightly Mad Studios, cementing their iron grip on the racing game market.
If you know racing games, then you know about Codemasters. One of the oldest British developers still in operation, Codemasters are the folks behind such titles as DiRT, GRID, and the less capitalized Formula 1 Series of racing games. They got their start way back in 1986, and their titles have evolved almost as much as video games have in the intervening period.
Take DiRT, which started out as Colin McRae Rally back in 1998. It then became Colin McRae: Dirt in 2007, and finally just DiRT with DiRT 3 in 2011.
Or how about GRID? That franchise started as TOCA Touring Car Championship back in 1997, then eventually became Race Driver: Grid in 2008. Finally, they chopped the name down to a single word in 2013 with GRID 2.
The same deal happened with Formula 1 Series, which has taken the FIFA route of naming conventions and gone by F1 - [Year] since 2009.
Slightly Mad Studios is best known for the Project CARS series of games. While DiRT is all about rally racing, GRID about touring car racing, and F1 about... well, Formula 1 racing, Project CARS is all about supercars. Think Lambos, Ferraris, Paganis, and other insane cars worth six figures or more.
Project CARS 2 came out in 2017 with Project CARS 3 reportedly being in development. That's not expected to change now that Codemasters is behind the wheel, so to speak. But only in financial terms; Slightly Mad Studios will retain its CEO and there aren't expected to be any major disruptions for the London-based studio.
“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.”
One interesting thing mentioned in the press release was the Codemasters is hiding an "unannounced Hollywood blockbuster title." We have no idea what that could mean, but we wouldn’t be too surprised to hear of a Fast & Furious game adaptation.