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40 per cent of Codemasters sold

Almost half of Codies handed over to VC firm in new funding deal.

Further details have emerged regarding the fresh round of funding announced by British publisher Codemasters earlier this week, with venture capital firm Benchmark revealing that it has acquired 40 per cent of the firm as part of the deal.

Exactly how much capital has been injected into the privately held firm by Benchmark Capital Europe hasn't been revealed, but the VC has revealed in a statement that the quid pro quo is a 40 per cent acquisition of the publisher.

Codemasters plans to use the cash to fund development of key new titles, with a strong focus on online-enabled content and next-generation games, plus a move into new areas such as mobile games and massively multiplayer games.

The fact that almost half of the company has been handed over in return for the funding will undoubtedly fuel further speculation about the future plans for the 18 year old publisher, the potential stock market flotation of which has been a recurring topic for industry gossip for many years.

Although the investment means Codies won't have to consider the stock market again for some time, at some point down the line, Benchmark Capital will almost certainly want to cash in its chips - either through a flotation, or through a sale to another company.

For now, however, it's all mutual back-slapping between Codemasters and Benchmark. "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," enthused Benchmark's Ynon Kreiz, who led the acquisition. "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."

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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