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Big game hunt for Codies

Codemasters celebrated record financials yesterday by announcing that it is embarking on an aggressive global acquisition programme to swell its product roster.

Southam-based publisher Codemasters revealed yesterday that its turnover reached £76 million last year and that its "strong level of profitability" (no figures given) has given it a war chest to go out and invest in new externally developed products - and to offer a second chance to disgruntled developers not happy with existing deals.

The firm has had massive success with its signing strategy in the past, notably Operation Flashpoint, and the news comes at a crucial time for the development community with the San Jose GDC giving them an ideal platform to demo new projects to Codemasters in less than two weeks time.

The company is specifically on the lookout for next gen titles, with PSP, PS3, Xbox 2 and new PC and PC online titles of interest to the Warwickshire-based publisher. No plans to resurrect its Nintendo relationship then? This won't come as a huge surprise, with the company's handheld plans usually licensed out, while its brands have not appeared on GameCube at all.

Codemasters MD Nick Wheelwright commented: "I would be delighted to hear from game developers with unsigned titles and those who are not satisfied with their current publishing arrangements."

"We are continuously looking for great games and have achieved top chart positions with titles published on behalf of our external development companies. More recently, having fully established our USA operation, we are able to offer full sales, marketing and distribution in both North America as well as PAL territories."

Developers with current and future projects can contact Wheelwright directly via email or Gary Rowe, Codemasters' Head of Acquisitions, via email or directly on + 44 (0)1926 816009.

"We will be at GDC and E3 to meet game developers, the world over, to discuss the publishing opportunities Codemasters delivers," Gary Rowe added.

"Acquired and externally developed titles continue to play a major part in Codemasters' success and benefit from a co-operative development process. We maintain a studio dedicated to working alongside external teams providing game design input and development support as necessary."

Codemasters added in its press release that it "offers a variety of financing models for acquired products from external developers, including outright purchase of a title, licence-based financing, completion bonds and further options."

The news certainly comes as a welcome contrast to the regular tales of studio closures and cutbacks across the world and points to the company going all out for growth - with insiders pointing to its ongoing ambition to eventually float.

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Kristan Reed avatar
Kristan Reed: Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.