Video game maker Codemaster records strong start to the year

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Codemasters has held the official Formula One license for over a decade. Its most-recent title F1 2020 debuted at the top of the Ukie Games Charts in the week after its release in July


Popularity of F1 2020 simulation helps video game maker Codemaster record strong start to the year

  • Two new games, Project Cars 3 and Dirt 5, are set to be launched this year
  • The firm’s revenues rose by 6.8 per cent to £76m in the 12 months to March 31 
  • Codemasters also made the Brian Lara Cricket and Colin McRae Rally series 

Video games publisher Codemasters says it expects earnings to be ‘significantly ahead of current market expectations.’

The Warwickshire-based game developer, which specialises in motorsport computer games, said sales of its back catalogue and best-selling F1 2020 game had been strong since the start of the financial year.

It also remarked that its Fast & Furious Crossroads game had ‘to date performed as anticipated’ since being launched onto the market four days ago.

Codemasters has held the official Formula One license for over a decade. Its most-recent title F1 2020 debuted at the top of the Ukie Games Charts in the week after its release in July

Consumer and retailer orders for the game, based on the blockbuster movie franchise that stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, ‘also remain consistent with original expectations,’ according to the firm.

Shares jumped 5.7 per cent by mid-afternoon following the announcement by the company, which is known for designing the Brian Lara Cricket and Colin McRae Rally series in the 1990s and 2000s.

The business has held the official Formula One license for over a decade. Its most-recent title F1 2020 debuted at the top of the Ukie Games Charts in the week after its release in July, beating the Nintendo-produced Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Two new games, Project Cars 3 and Dirt 5, are set to be launched on August 28 and October 16, respectively by the game studio. Dirt 5’s predecessor Dirt 4 received critically favourable reviews and went to number two in the game charts in 2017.

In its most recent full-year results, the company’s revenues increased by 6.8 per cent to £76million in the 12 months to March 31. However adjusted earnings fell by a modest £0.5million to £18.2million.

Chief executive Frank Sagnier wrote that the firm had felt ‘minimal disruption to the business’ resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and was ‘well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise during the next 12 months and beyond.’

Driving success: Codemasters specialise in motorsport video games such as Dirt Rally 2.0 (above) and the F1 series of games, which have all been high-sellers

Driving success: Codemasters specialise in motorsport video games such as Dirt Rally 2.0 (above) and the F1 series of games, which have all been high-sellers

He said the publisher predicts receiving a considerable boost from consumers buying more products digitally along with further revenues coming from e-sports, mobile gaming and Games as a Service. 

Soon after the financial year ended, the group reported that digital downloads of their games had surged due to lockdown restrictions forcing more people to spend their time indoors.

The pandemic has hurt the developer’s store sales, which have lower margins than its digital sales and form an increasingly declining share of the firm’s total sales.

The video game industry has been relatively resilient since the beginning of the pandemic

The video game industry has been relatively resilient since the beginning of the pandemic

In the year to the end of March 2019, boxed sales were just over £29million, but the following year, they dropped to £24.6million. By contrast, digital revenues soared by about 40 per cent to £43.5million, comprising approximately two-thirds of all sales. 

Compared to other sectors, the video game industry has been relatively resilient since the beginning of the pandemic as people use the extra time at home to play games and developers work from home to ensure its products can still be made.

In the United States, total video games sales reached record levels of $11.6billion in the second quarter of the year, a year-on-year upswing of 30 per cent, according to a report published by market research firm NPD Group. 





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