Need for Speed Development Moves Back to Criterion

EA today confirmed that Criterion will, once again, lead development on the Need for Speed franchise.

The creators of Burnout and two of most successful Need for Speed games (Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted) is getting the Need for Speed franchise back. The team also worked with DICE during the development of Star Wars Battlefront II. Ghost Games, the developers behind the franchise since 2013s Need for Speed: Rivals, will be renamed EA Gothenburg and focus on engineering and support. They’ll support other EA studios working with the Frostbite Engine.

“The engineering expertise in our Gothenburg team, some of whom are architects of the Frostbite engine, is vital to a number of our ongoing projects, and they would remain in that location,” said EA in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz.

According to GamesIndustry, EA intends to move most of Ghost Games’ creative staff to Criterion. A big reason for this drastic change is the location of the studios. Guildford, where Criterion is based, is one of the largest game development hubs in the UK. Gothenberg, located in Sweden, wasn’t attracting the talent the publisher needed for one of its largest franchises.

The latest entry in the franchise, Need for Speed: Heat, launched last November on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It remains unknown if a new Need for Speed game is coming in 2020.