I’m sure you know of Codemasters, right? They’re the ones behind games like the F1 series, the GRID games, and other titles like Dirt. With that said, Slightly Mad Studios — known for Project Cars — has now been acquired by Codemasters. However, no word on the Mad Box console and its future has surfaced.
As per gamesindustry.biz, Codemasters has shared to said website the numbers behind the deal with Slightly Mad Studios, which for those that don’t want to know all the unimportant details, Codemasters has acquired Slightly Mad Studios for $30 million.
For those that want to know the details behind the acquisition, Codemasters will pay $30 million (£23.3 million) upfront in $25 million in cash and then $5 million in stock, but this will happen over a three-year period that could bump the initial value up.
I’m not sure which company’s spokesperson it was, but one of Codemasters or Slightly Mad Studios PR person briefed Games Industry that the maximum earnout is $166 million (£128.9 million), but it could top out to $67.9 million (£52.6 million).
With all of that said, Slightly Mad Studios took to slightlymadstudios.com to relay the following message:
“Codemasters today announced it has agreed to acquire racing simulation specialists, Slightly Mad Studios. The agreement cements Codemasters’ position as a world-leading games developer and publisher of racing videogames and expands its portfolio to include the award-winning Project CARS, together with an unannounced Hollywood blockbuster title. Frank Sagnier will remain CEO of Codemasters Group plc which now includes Slightly Mad Studios and Ian Bell will retain his position of Founder and CEO of Slightly Mad Studios. Codemasters now employs c.700 people globally with offices including London, Birmingham, Southam and Runcorn.”
Codemasters did the same on codemasters.com, reiterating that a “Hollywood blockbuster” game is in development, but no word on the most “powerful console ever made” came up.
I’m not sure if it’s dead or not, but Ian Bell stopped posting on his Twitter account regarding the “strongest console ever made” despite the CEO of Slightly Mad Studios retaining his position after the acquisition.
Nevertheless, we do know why Bell has been silent, and if it wasn’t already obvious, it’s all due to the legal stuff going on:
Yes. Sorry for the radio silence. Legals and contracts and stuff…
— Ian Bell CEO SMS (@bell_sms) November 28, 2019
Other people have tweeted Bell to talk about the Mad Box, and as of this writing, nothing has surfaced.
So what does this all mean? Well, it means that Codemasters and Slightly Mad Studios are together, and the most “powerful console ever made” that isn’t out is up in the air as we speak.