With Electronic Arts purchasing UK racing game developer Codemasters for $1.2 billion back in February 2021, the upcoming EA SPORTS F1 22 game is the first Formula 1 title where the Redwood-based gaming giant has had significant oversight.
On a recent Q4 FY22 earnings call, EA’s ambitions for the Birmingham-based F1 game team were discussed.
“That team is extraordinary… It has always built an incredibly high-quality game. That was really the impetus behind the acquisition to bring [F1] into the EA SPORTS brand portfolio,” explained Andrew Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Arts.
The EA influence is more visible than ever, with the latest game jettisoning the previous nomenclature, switching to F1 22 as opposed to F1 2021, F1 2020, for example.
“The game will have a much more obvious EA identity about it this year, as you’ll see through some of the presentation and the way it’s marketed,” explain the game’s Senior Creative Director, Lee Mather, on a recent Traxion.GG Podcast interview.
“This is the first year where we’ve developed it while part of EA. With F1 2021, we were coming out really with only a few months under the banner… Things were further progressed as well. Now we’ve had a much longer run-up, it was always in mind that when we felt it was the right point, to call it an EA SPORTS title.”
This all ties in with EA’s expectations of the team and diversifying its sporting line-up – which faces an intriguing future after the news that its football games will be called EA SPORTS FC from next year onwards.
“F1 is at an all-time high in [terms of] fandom… We’re seeing an incredible season this year… Couple that with an extraordinary development team who has a track record of making high-quality products and we think it’s an incredible opportunity,” enthused Wilson on the earnings call.
“We think that business is going to go from strength to strength.”
No pressure then. Our hands-on with an early work in progress build of F1 22 showed promise, in particular with the vehicle handling, but we’re yet to see how the F1 Life addition and My Team revisions play out. We’ll have more ahead of the game’s launch on 1st July.