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Codemasters secures new investment

UK publisher and developer Codemasters is to receive a "substantial investment" from top-tier venture capital firm Benchmark Capital Europe, according to an official announcement.

UK publisher and developer Codemasters is to receive a "substantial investment" from top-tier venture capital firm Benchmark Capital Europe, according to an official announcement.

Codemasters did not reveal the amount of the investment but described it as "significant", adding that the money will be used to speed up the company's development programme.

This includes plans to develop more proprietary game content across next-generation consoles and PC, with an emphasis on online gaming. In addition, Codemasters will target new distribution formats such as mobile applications, Internet and massively multiplayer online products.

The investment will also fund sales and marketing activities and the acquisition of third party-products. Codemasters said it plans to continue expanding into new territories and developing its international publishing operations.

"The Benchmark team shares our ambition for quality, innovation and making online a major element of the gaming experience," said David Darling, chairman and CEO of Codemasters.

"Codemasters has grown organically to become the largest privately owned video games publisher in Europe. Benchmark's investment, and also importantly the involvement of Benchmark's highly talented team, will now provide the perfect opportunity for Codemasters' next growth phase."

Benchmark Capital Europe representative Ynon Kreiz added: "Codemasters has consistently demonstrated for over 18 years that it has the skill and capacity to produce very high quality interactive entertainment, and successfully operate as an independent player in a very competitive and dynamic landscape."

"We were attracted to the company by its heritage of great management, creativity, innovation and ambition to push boundaries. Benchmark is proud to have an active role in Codemasters' future success."

Codemasters was founded in 1986 by David Darling together with his brother Richard and father Jim. He took over as CEO and chairman after Nick Wheelwright resigned in January, and compared Codemasters to "Apple, which under Steve Jobs with iPod and iTunes has shown how successfully a technology company can be re-invigorated by a founder."

Codemasters has published over 60 number one titles and owns brands Colin McRae Rally, LMA Manager and Brian Lara Cricket. The company employs around 400 people at its Warwickshire headquarters.

Benchmark Capital has committed more than $2.7 billion in venture capital since it was founded in 1995. Its portfolio includes eBay, Betfair and Alphyra.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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