Codemasters Acquires Slightly Mad Studios
Slightly Mad Studios, the developer behind the Project CARS franchise has been bought by Codemasters for a sum of £23.3 million ($30 million USD).
Codemasters, a UK-based publishing house that has seen growing success over the last few years with the releases of Onrush and Grid, will expand their growing monopoly over the racing game genre with this acquisition.
Frank Sagnier, the CEO of Codemasters has said “Codemasters’ acquisition of SMS will create a global leader in the racing genre.
“Their focus on AAA 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.”
Slightly Mad’s team of around 150 employees will cost the publisher $25 million USD in an up-front payment, along with an additional $5 million in stocks.
An earnout clause in the deal due to Slightly Mad’s EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) could see the cost of the studio becoming more over the course of the next three years. Estimates have been made that the actual price of the deal could be closer to £52.6 million ($67.9 million USD).
Since its inception in 2009, Slightly Mad Studios has met critical success with Project CARS in 2015 and Project CARS 2 in 2017.
Jedi: Fallen Order Sets EA Star Wars Game Records
EA announced this week that their most recent foray into the Star Wars franchise has been a successful one.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has had the fastest-selling digital launch for a Star Wars game in its opening two weeks on the market.
Respawn and Lucasfilm have also been happy to report that the game is EA’s top-selling Star Wars title on PC in its initial launch window.
“On behalf of Respawn and EA, we thank everyone for their support of the studio and the team throughout the development and launch of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Telling a story in the Star Wars galaxy is a dream come true and the reception from the fans has been incredible,” said Vince Zampella, Head of Respawn.
This news will come as a relief to EA, whose attempts to make successful and fan-pleasing Star Wars games have proven to be testing since they acquired exclusivity over the franchise in 2013.
Critically, Jedi: Fallen Order has done very well, with Business Insider claiming it is “the best Star Wars game ever made,” and GameSpot calling it “one of the most compelling game additions to the Star Wars franchise in years.”
Xbox Head Rules Out Virtual Reality For Project Scarlett
Phil Spencer, the Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, has shared some of his thoughts on virtual reality this week, ruling out the possibility of it playing any role in the next Xbox console.
When Sony released the PSVR back in 2016, Spencer talked about why VR support wouldn’t come to the Xbox One. Back then he said “Most of these things I’m playing now feel like demos and experiments.”
Speaking to Stevivor this week he said: “I don’t love my quote there because I’m not trying to demean the work that people are doing in VR.”
“I have some issues with VR,” he added.
“It’s isolating and I think of games as a communal, kind of together experience. We’re responding to what our customers are asking for and… nobody’s asking for VR.
“The vast majority of our customers know if they want a VR experience, there’s places to go get those. We see the volumes of those on PC and other places.”
He concluded by saying “ I think we might get there, but yeah, that’s not where our focus is.”
These comments caused a lot of chatter on social media, with Spencer even reaffirming his views by replying to a tweet and saying “I’ve said publically, I love how our industry has pioneered: AI, physics, 3D, RT, VR/AR etc. For us, it’s about focus on our innovations right now. I’ve played some great VR games, I got to play HL:Alyx in the summer, amazing. It’s just not our focus with Scarlett.”
PS Plus and Games With Gold Free Games For December Revealed
The free games PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games With Gold subscribers will have access to over the festive season have been unveiled.
Firstly, PlayStation Plus members will be able to play Respawn’s 2016 shooter Titanfall 2, and Monster Energy Supercross — The Official Videogame.
Titanfall 2 has been praised as one of the top first-person shooter experiences of the current console generation, while Monster Energy Supercross has gone largely unnoticed, but allows players to race against one another on customized motorbikes and create their own tracks. Both games will be available on the 3rd of December.
On the Xbox One, subscribers can get their hands on Insane Robots, and Jurassic World Evolution, for the entirety of the month.
Xbox One and Xbox 360 players will be able to play Toy Story 3 from the 1st of December to the 15th.
Xbox 360 players will also get free access to Castlevania: Lord of Shadow from the 16th of the month until the final day of the year.