In the recent news of EA restructuring, it has been revealed that Burnout series developers, Criterion, will be developing a new Need for Speed title for next-gen consoles.
Discussing with Gamesindustry.biz, EA confirmed that Ghost Games will no longer be producing Need for Speed titles, but instead will be re-branded as EA Gothenburg and serve as a engineering hub for a number of titles that EA is currently working on. Employees of their creative team are currently being relocated to new positions throughout the company, and as for the future of Need for Speed it will once again return back to Criterion games. They have developed two Need for Speed titles, but due to downsizing and staff moving to Ghost Games at the time, Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012 was their last NFS title.
The company notes the reasoning behind this shift was mostly due to the location that the Criterion studio is in as Guildford is one of UK biggest gaming hubs. Ghost games will remain in their current location of Gothenburg and will still provide a vital role to the company.
” Despite our best efforts to establish an independent development group in Gothenburg over several years, it’s become clear that the breadth of talent we need to maintain a full AAA studio is just not available to us there. Criterion can also provide the consistent leadership that we need to continue creating and delivering new Need for Speed experiences for a long time to come. The EA Spokesperson continued, “With a strong history and passion for racing games and vision for what we can create, the Criterion team is going to take Need for Speed into the next-generation,”
Ghost Games last Need for Speed, Need for Speed: Heat released just last year and overall received a somewhat positive reception. We ourselves noted in our review that while not perfect, it was in the least a step in the right direction. Criterion taking the helms once again could be the push the series needs, though we most likely won’t hear anything around the title for the next couple of years.