Reliance buys half of Codemasters

Zapak to oversee new investment

NEW DELHI -- Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. has acquired a 50% stake in leading U.K. video game developer and publisher Codemasters, according to a statement Tuesday.

While no financial details were given, Codemasters' shareholding will include existing investor European venture capital firm Balderton Capital that first invested in Codemasters in 2005.

Reliance Big Entertainment’s gaming company Zapak Digital Entertainment Ltd. will oversee the Codemasters investment.

Zapak is the largest gaming company in India, with interests in online casual games, massively multiplayer online games (MMPOG) publishing, India's largest chain of gaming cafes and physical distribution of gaming software. Zapak also controls Jump Games, an award-winning international mobile game development and publishing company with global distribution across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Zapak CEO Rohit Sharma said, “We are excited to partner with Codemasters and believe it's very strong technology, development and distribution presence will complement our global gaming portfolio.”

Established two decades ago, Codemasters has major franchises in cricket games (The Ashes), racing games (Formula 1, Dirt2 and Race Driver Grid), performance games (Dance Factory) and military simulations (Operation Flashpoint 2) with annual revenues in excess of US$ 150 Million. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment distributes Codemasters titles throughout the U.S.

Codemasters chief executive Rod Cousens said, “Reliance and Zapak have immense resources and will help us realize the full potential of our game coding and online excellence across so many platforms, and especially in the world's fastest-growing markets.”
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