Electronic Arts (EA) has confirmed they will hand over Need for Speed development duties from Ghost Games back to the UK games studio Criterion citing it has struggled to attract the right talent to Gothenburg.
Criterion is probably best known for their role in creating the much-loved Burnout series along with two Need for Speed titles: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) and the underwhelming Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012). The development studio downsized in 2013 which saw the transfer of many of its talented staff to Ghost Games.
Criterion founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry departed in 2014 and are currently developing their own series of videogames including the likes of Danger Zone and Dangerous Driving with a new racing title in development which we’ll no doubt learn much more about throughout the year.
Ironically, EA is now looking to transfer many of the Ghost Games team into positions at Criterion, however, we understand that as many as 30 positions are at risk. “Outside of the engineers and those that we plan to transfer to other positions, there would be 30 additional staff in Gothenburg, and we would hope to place as many of them as possible into other roles in the company,” EA explained to GamesIndustry.biz.
“Ghost Games have helped to bring some great Need for Speed experiences to our players. Consistently delivering that at AAA levels means we need teams with diverse skills in locations where we can continually support them and bring in new team members to join, ” stated EA. “Criterion is a fantastic studio, and we’re looking forward to adding to their talented team and building a great future for Need for Speed.
We expect the next Need for Speed title will continue the recent tradition of a two-year development cycle making for a potential release window of 2021 across next-generation consoles. We’ll bring you more on this as it develops.