F1 Developer Layoffs Confirmed by EA

Challenges Persist as Codemasters Faces Layoffs Following Commercial Struggles with Recent Racing Game Releases

UK-based gaming veteran Codemasters, now under the ownership of Electronic Arts (EA), has encountered a wave of layoffs following the recent launches of its racing games F1 23 and EA Sports WRC. EA, confirming the redundancies, did not disclose the specific number of affected staff.

In a statement provided to IGN, an EA spokesperson acknowledged the ever-changing nature of the gaming industry, necessitating periodic organizational adjustments to align teams and resources with evolving business priorities. The company assured ongoing support for those impacted by the layoffs.

EA acquired Codemasters, renowned for franchises like Grid, F1, and Dirt, in 2021 for $1.2 billion. Emphasizing the preservation of Codemasters’ identity, EA CEO Andrew Wilson expressed a commitment to minimal interference. Post-acquisition, Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier and CFO Rashid Varachia departed, and the studio, including Slightly Mad Studios (developer of Project Cars), became part of EA Sports.

F1 23

Last year, EA amalgamated the Codemasters Cheshire team with Criterion Games to form a consolidated development studio focused on Need for Speed Unbound, which faced challenges in gaining traction. While Codemasters Birmingham continued its work on the Formula 1 franchise, the company encountered headwinds with the recent releases of F1 23 in June and EA Sports WRC in November.

Codemasters, holding the official license for the World Rally Championship (WRC), released its first rally game with the WRC license since 2002’s Colin McRae Rally 3. However, the commercial success of EA Sports WRC proved elusive, receiving a 6/10 rating in IGN’s review, citing an unfinished feel.

The layoffs at Codemasters coincide with broader challenges in the UK gaming industry, including financial struggles at Frontier Developments and Team17, among others. With EA’s racing game franchises facing uncertainties, including a Need for Speed series distant from its prime, the future landscape of racing games within the publishing giant remains unclear.