British Burnout developer Criterion Games have submitted a job vacancy for an upcoming driving game, stating that they are "hiring and actively looking to add the world’s top talent to a team that just delivered the highest rated Need for Speed title yet. This is a very exciting time at Criterion Games and anyone that joins us will be working on top selling, world class games, on cutting edge hardware in an extremely creative environment."
The position is for a Cinematic Cut Scene Artist "to work on the world’s number one, multi award winning, arcade racing franchise. You’ll be part of the in game Cinematic Team within EA’s BAFTA award winning Criterion Games studio; with responsibility for bringing to life the visceral, brutal car action Criterion is critically acclaimed, trusted and renowned for."
Many are speculating that the "world's number one" arcade racing genre refers to a new Burnout game – after all,it's been over four years since the release of the critically-acclaimed Burnout Paradise, so we're long overdue a new instalment of Criterion's crashtastic racer (we're pretending Burnout Crash didn't exist after being scarred by the odious sight of David Hasselhoff in a cheerleading outfit).
But as much as we're pining for a new Burnout game, recent developments have hinted towards a new Criterion-developed Need for Speed following the success of Hot Pursuit in 2010, a game which seamlessly blended Criterion's appetite for destruction in Burnout with Need for Speed's plethora of licensed exotica.
Last year, another Criterion job listing was found advertising an AI programmer position for an open world racing game. More recently, a retail listing for Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2 was leaked sparking speculation that Criterion was behind the wheel of the project. The original Most Wanted game merged open world driving with high-octane police chases, which sounds like a natural progression from Hot Pursuit.
Looking at this most recent application, the emphasis on "dynamic action sequences" sound like similar aims to last year's Need for Speed: The Run, which was met with a comparatively lukewarm reception. Could Criterion about to be righting the wrongs made by EA Black Box last year? Even the "cinematic cut scenes artist" job title screams Need for Speed for me, indicating the possibility of another plot-driven campaign akin to The Run unless Burnout is about to go all Michael Bay on us.
Whatever Criterion are cooking up, all is likely to be revealed in E3 next month so we'll sit tight for now.
Are you excited by the prospect of Criterion developing another Need for Speed title or should they stick to their Burnout roots? As always, you can leave your thoughts in a comment below or on our Facebook page.