Big changes could be coming to the Need for Speed franchise, which hasn’t been doing well in review circles as of late. According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, EA is giving the keys to the racing series back to UK-based studio Criterion Games – best known for the high-speed, crash-heavy Burnout series.
Ghost Games, the creator of the last four Need for Speed titles, is reverting back to its EA Gothenburg banner, where it will serve as an “engineering hub” to assist EA’s other studios. Many of its creatives are moving to Criterion and other positions within the company, but the technical wizards will remain for their expertise in Frostbite and other critical applications.
“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.
Criterion is the developer that was responsible for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012). These were pretty well reviewed, but the franchise – and many of the studio’s employees – were transferred to Ghost Games due to a downsizing in 2013.
It’ll be interesting to see how the next title fares against Ghost Games’s efforts, which comprised Need for Speed: Rivals (2013), the Need for Speed reboot (2015), Need for Speed: Payback (2017), and Need for Speed: Heat (2019). Judging by Criterion’s last attempts, the next game could make a return to a more arcade-like experience that revolves around extreme drifting and carnage.