British publisher and developer Codemasters has announced that the company has secured the exclusive video game rights to Formula 1 racing, with its first title, based on the 2009 season, due for release next year on all console and PC formats.
The announcement has come as a surprise, after widely reported rumors that Electronic Arts had secured the license, or at least that of British driver Lewis Hamilton, from its previous holder, Sony. However, Codemasters has confirmed that it has won the worldwide right to feature all Grand Prix circuits, Formula 1 teams, cars and driver likenesses.
New games will be created across home consoles, portables and the PC. Work will be carried out by internal team Codemasters Studios, with unconfirmed reports
from website autosport.com suggesting that staff from the recently acquired Sega Racing Studio
will also be involved.
Codemasters Studio has previously been responsible for Colin McRae: DiRT
and the forthcoming Race Driver: GRID
. As such, the new Formula 1 game will also use an evolution of the company’s propriety EGO Game Technology Engine.
Said Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens, “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."