In what is most likely the most surprising news of this week, Codemasters today officially announced that it has secured the exclusive videogame rights to Formula 1, contrary to the belief that Electronic Arts would snatch up the rights from Sony Entertainment.
The worldwide deal grants the British publisher the right to bring the Formula 1 franchise to other platforms than just Playstation systems, as well as feature all Grand Prix circuits, Formula 1 teams, cars, and driver likenesses.
The FIA Formula 1 World Championship games will be developed by Codemasters Studio and will use the evolution of Codemasters’ highly-versatile cross-platform technology, EGO Game Technology Engine.
Said Rod Cousens, chief executive officer at Codemasters:
“FORMULA 1 is ambitious in expanding its reach with more circuits planned beyond recent additions in the Middle East and China. It is also ambitious in expanding its reach via technology. The digital communities that computer and video gaming creates will play a key role in further growing the FORMULA 1 audience and connecting them globally.
As a world-leading creator of driving games, this alliance with FORMULA 1 is the jewel in Codemasters’ racing crown and creates an undisputed segment champion. FORMULA 1 has gone with the best, the segment leader. It has gone to the home of the EGO Engine for quality; it has gone to the company that can host FORMULA 1 Online, to the company that is streaking away from the pack.”
Chris Deering, chairman of Codemasters, was equally thrilled:
“Codemasters’ success and recent innovations in the racing game space makes the company more than appropriately tuned for the challenge. The combination of FORMULA 1’s new momentum of expansion and Codemasters’ contemporary technology and past experience is the breaking of a new dawn for the sport, on the track and on the HD game screen.”
Codemasters plans to release the first Formula 1 game in 2009 for consoles, handhelds, and PC.