UK publisher Driving Games specialist Codemasters has strengthened its portfolio with a deluxe acquisition. Nothing but the Slightly Mad Studios, the producer of Ian Bell, one of the driving simulator specialists, known mostly for the Project Cars series. The acquisition business reinforces Codemasters' catalog, which features the Formula 1 series, with FIA official license, DiRT rally and touring car-based arcade, GRID.
According to Games Industry Biz, the deal was closed for $ 30 million upfront ($ 25 million in cash and the rest in stock), but over the next three years studio makers will be able to earn even more if they succeed.
According to Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier, “The acquisition of Slighlty Mad Studios will strengthen the company as a global leader in driving games. The studio focuses on AAA experiences of great quality and passion. ” It was also mentioned that the company's 150 workers migrated into the business and Ian Bell remains at the head of the studio.
The company was acquired at a time when it has three projects in production, and supposedly a console. The games in question are the adaptation of their driving series to smartphones called Project Cars GO, a mysterious title based on a “big Hollywood blockbuster” that many speculate to be Fast and Furious's adaptation to video games. Finally, the third game is a new IP from the studio itself.
With regard to the console in production, Mad Box, it was unveiled in early 2019, and promised 4K imagery, 60 FPS virtual reality support and a free full-featured game engine. The plan was to develop the console in three years, but in business it was not clear whether it would continue to be developed.