We review all the driver’s licenses that Electronic Arts has and the future of each after the acquisition of Codemasters.
Although it has not been made effective, Codemasters shareholders have given their approval to the sale of the British company to Electronic Arts. In this way, the Canadian giant is made with a series of juicy licenses to exploit in the near future, even planning to annualize some of these sagas, something that is already evident with Formula 1. This competition aims to be the big star in the driving side of EA, even thinking of expanding the popularity of the World Cup in the United States, where other disciplines such as NASCAR or the 500 miles of Indianapolis rule. That said, what four-wheel franchises does the publisher now have, and what does the future hold for each?
Need for speed
Nobody is aware that the arcade franchise par excellence of Electronic Arts is not going through its best moment, despite the fact that the company claims that it works well on a commercial level. Since Need for Speed Most Wanted, neither Ghost Games nor Criterion Games have been able to find the key to a saga that in recent years has seen its popularity decrease, especially for Forza Horizon, with a much broader proposal in terms of environment size and content. Although the Playground Games formula differs greatly from Need for Speed, it is probably in that direction that the next installment should go, since neither the 2015 reboot, nor NFS Payback, nor NFS Heat have been able to make it take flight .
However, it is not expected that Codemasters will be in charge of breathing life into Need for Speed, since EA has the two aforementioned studios as spearheads of the franchise. Even with everything, there are personnel in the British studio qualified for this subgenre of driving, since the absorption of several members of the defunct Evolution Studios studio gave them greater versatility in the production of an arcade, which paid off in Onrush, although it went practically unnoticed.
After many years in the possession of the Canadian company and after going through Sony – its deliveries being developed by Psygnosis – the most important motorsport competition in the world passed into the hands of Codemasters. Since then, the British have not stopped taking steps forward until they reach the most recent installment, F1 2020, in which they have added a very complete My Team mode and that is one of the great surprises of this iteration. That said, it would not be ruled out that it was susceptible to receiving Ultimate Team mechanics, since EA already implemented it in a saga in which it did not quite fit as is the UFC, although in fact it ended up withdrawing it.
At the playable level there are not many buts that can be put to this franchise at this point, having achieved a simulation level typical of Codemasters, while technically it reaches a very high level. Actually the main pending issue had been related to the content of the game, something that, as we have said, seems to be surpassed even though there is, as always, room for improvement.
Along with F1, Codemasters’ star license, which has given many joys in recent years. With the acquisition of the World Rally Championship license -which we will talk about later-, the most simulative aspect of the saga looks better than ever for the future, although that future is rather distant, since the agreement will be effective at starting in 2023. It is noteworthy however that this has been the reference franchise for rally fans, even above the WRC saga by the semi-unknown Kylotonn studio.
Another different matter is what happens with its more arcade aspect, in which the official rallycross license has been included in the latest installments, which adds very fun tests and with multiplayer possibilities. Both DIRT 3 and DIRT 4 bet on a formula closer to the arcade without becoming one, and without losing demand along the way. Although the fourth installment suffered from continuity, they are popular titles among fans of driving and it is not expected that Codemasters will cease production, much less.