Codemasters has announced it has extended its contract with Formula One Management for exclusive video game rights for the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) franchise from 2021 until 2025, with a further option for the 2026 and 2027 seasons, subject to Codemasters achieving certain performance thresholds. The Agreement represents the longest extension in the partnership’s history, demonstrating the global success of the game and the shared vision for increasing the international appeal of F1.
Codemasters has held exclusive rights to develop the official F1 annual franchise since 2008. Since its first release in 2009, the Codemasters’ F1 games have won multiple awards and this year’s instalment, F1 2019, has achieved a Metacritic average of 87% and a 95% rating on OpenCritic. F1 2019 has been shortlisted across several categories in both the 2019 TIGA Awards and The Golden Joysticks. F1 Mobile Racing, which debuted in 2018, has over 12 million installs and went to number one in the Racing category in 150 countries.
“We are delighted to be extending our long-term partnership with the pinnacle of motorsport,” said Frank Sagnier, Chief Executive Officer at Codemasters. “Both the sport and game franchise are going from strength to strength and the arrival of new platforms, business models and territories, combined with the rapid growth of the F1 Esports Series, give us a springboard to even greater success. I’d like to thank the team for the incredible hard work they have put into this franchise over the last ten years, and I look forward to seeing how they continue to innovate to surprise and delight our current players and bring new fans to the exciting world of Formula 1.”
“Since 2008, Codemasters has been an invaluable partner to the franchise, consistently creating games of the highest quality and enabling fans to get even closer to the world of F1,” said Frank Arthofer, Director of Digital and Licensing at Formula 1. “Together we share a common vision for increasing the global appeal of F1 and the official video game of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP continues to be a key part of that strategy.”
F1’s popularity has experienced remarkable growth since Liberty Media’s acquisition in 2017. Social media followers have grown 193% during this period to 23.8 million making it the fastest growing major sport across social media channels. The introduction of the New Balance F1 Esports Pro Series, which is now in Season Three, has enabled F1 to reach both new fans of the sport as well as engaging a younger demographic. Season Two delivered 5.5 million viewers across online and TV with a further 100 million social media impressions and the 2019 Qualifying phase had 109,000 participants. In July 2019, a new F1 esports tournament was announced for China.