Codemasters boss Rod Cousens leaves for Runescape developer

As UK studio readies F1 2015 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Codemasters boss Rod Cousens has stepped down after 10 years as CEO of the British game developer.

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Temporary Codemasters boss Frank Sagnier.

Cousens has left to join Jagex, maker of fantasy MMO RuneScape.

Frank Sagnier, Codemasters' Chief Operating Officer, takes control "through the executive transition", the company said today (via GamesIndustry.biz).

During Cousens' tenure Codemasters secured the coveted F1 license and released a raft of successful racing games. He also managed Indian company Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd.'s acquisition of a majority shareholding in the British company.

However, Codemasters has struggled in recent years after a push to expand its portfolio of games beyond racing met with limited success.

First-person shooter Bodycount, Operation Flashpoint, Rise of the Argonauts and Damnation all failed to set tills alight.

In June 2014 Codemasters released Grid Autosport, then surprised many when it announced F1 2014 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 only. F1 2014 launched in October 2014 and failed to make an impact. Since then the company has released Micro Machines-style download game Toybox Turbos as well as a raft of mobile games based on its back catalogue of franchises. F1 2015, the company's first PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game, is due out 12th June.

In January 2015 Codemasters suffered a round of layoffs, with around 50 jobs being reviewed. Redundancies were focused on the company's brand, IT and localisation departments, which are based in Codemasters' headquarters in Southam, Warwickshire.

Back in January we reported that the announcement of a new Dirt game was held up because the company had yet to secure car licenses.

Rod Cousens joins Jagex as CEO. Here's what Jagex had to say:

Rod will oversee the company during a period of expansion in which the studio's flagship title branches out into the collectable card game genre via the recently announced Chronicle: RuneScape Legends. Meanwhile the tactical online shooter, Block N Load, will bring its strategic combination of construction and marksmanship to the world on 30th April 2015. Away from the public domain, an additional number of games are currently moving through development towards announcement.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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