Masters of Coding

It’s been a busy year for Codemasters, but did it expect to win the MCV award for UK Development Team?

We were hopeful but the competition was particularly tough this year.

The MCV Awards are well known to all in our industry and the fact they’re voted for by our peers is enormously gratifying for everyone at Codemasters Studios. The award is a great big thank you to everyone here and we’re tremendously honoured and grateful for that.

What was the biggest challenge Codemasters has faced over the last 12 months?

 Colin McRae: DiRT was the first game on our brand new multi-platform tech – the EGO Engine. Work on that kicked off in 2005 and it has been an enormous investment in both cost and man-power to establish something ground breaking that gets us noticed not just in Europe but in North America as well.

With Brian Lara Cricket and DiRT delivered in 2007, we had a particularly good year but of all of these I would probably argue that the PS3 version of DiRT alone kept us awake at night the most.

What was the main factor behind your MCV Award win?

DiRT was the biggest advert we had last year for what we are capable of achieving in Codemasters Studios.”

We re-invented a franchise and we held our own against strong competition, then we went and scored a big hit in the US, something that had eluded us for a long time. I’m very proud of those achievements and of everyone in the studios who make all our games.

With DiRT we focused heavily on real world look and feel and it continues this year with Race Driver: GRID, which takes our technology, presentation and consequent gameplay to even higher standards. With the other games we have in development now I know where the bar continues to be set and it’s fantastic to see it rising so fast even within our own studios.

Competition for the award was tough. Did anyone else stand out for Codemasters?

There is some very strong competition and the stakes are rising so fast. Development budgets are at record levels and it’s truly inspiring to see games like COD4 from Infinity Ward set new standards in narrative presentation and visual ambience, and ultimately in the way the game plays.

Did Codemasters feel it had been a good 12 months for the trade?

I think so. There has been some more consolidation and although SCI/Eidos troubles don’t do any of us any favours, the games market is stronger than ever and even the PlayStation 3 has finally got some killer apps arriving to make it a strong contender.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

Our studios are continuing to grow. Our acquisition of the Sega Racing Studio is part of that plan as we have some truly amazing games we’d like to start developing.

We’ll continue to grow over the next 12 months and strengthen our development sites to accommodate that expansion. We’ll also be delivering our next iteration of EGO for an action game this time, demonstrating it has power beyond just racing. It already looks ground breaking and I’m very excited about the arrival of the first game to use it, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising.

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