Codemasters has snapped up the gaming rights to the Formula 1 licence, and has begun development of a new officially licensed Formula 1 game.
The new title will be developed by Codemasters Studios, which now boasts more than 150 employees. The company will use its proprietary EGO engine to power the game, which has already been used in titles such as Colin McRae: DiRT and the forthcoming Race Driver: GRID.
Sony has traditionally been the holder of the licence, but declined to renew its agreement with Formula One Administration Limited allegedly due to increased monetary demands. Previous F1 titles were therefore restricted to Sony platforms, but Codemasters is planning a multi-platform release including handhelds.
“Formula 1 is ambitious in expanding its reach with more circuits planned beyond recent additions in the Middle East and China,” said Rod Cousens, CEO of Codemasters.
“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,” he said.
Chris Deering, chairman of Codemasters, added: “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.”