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RELIANCE Big Entertainment owned by Anil Ambani has bought half of UK’s games and publishing company Codemasters for an undisclosed amount.

The remaining 50% stake is with European venture capital firm Balderton Capital, which had first invested in Codemasters in 2005.

Reliance Big's gaming division Zapak Digital Entertainment will oversee the said investment in Codemasters.

The investment is expected to open up the fast-growing Indian market for Codemasters and help Reliance access many games in which the local interest is growing.

It will “help us realise the full potential of our game coding and online excellence across so many platforms, and especially in the world’s fastest-growing markets,” said Rod Cousens, chief executive of Codemasters. “The future of Codemasters has never looked brighter. It’s a whole new game.”

Codemasters has franchises in The Ashes cricket series, Formula 1 and Dirt2 racing games, and military simulations such as Operation Flashpoint 2 including others. Its revenues are more than $150 million.

Codemasters and Reliance’s Zapak Digital Entertainment are into similar businesses. “Its strong technology, development and distribution presence will complement our global gaming portfolio,” said Rohit Sharma, CEO, Zapak.
Venture capital firm Balderton Capital, which bought stake in Codemasters in 2005, will continue as an investor.

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