EA has revealed that the Need for Speed franchise will be changing hands, with development duties being shifted from Ghost Games to Criterion in the UK.
EA, in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, revealed that Ghost Games will go through a change and once again become EA Gothenburg while UK developer Criterion will once again take the reins of the Need for Speed franchise.
According to EA, Ghost Games, to be renamed EA Gothenburg, will not close down but will instead become an engineering hub that will help fellow EA studios with development of their games. So, they’re being benched, basically.
Meanwhile, Criterion in the UK will handle the development of future Need for Speed games. There’s no word on a new Need for Speed at the moment, but it’s basically confirmed that we will get more street racing in the future.
Criterion’s last Need for Speed was the well-recieved Need for Speed Most Wanted on PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U and, incredibly, the PS Vita. I put many, many hours into the Vita version of the game and still boot it up on my PSTV from time to time.
Since Ghost Games took over the franchise, it’s been a bit of a downhill spiral. The reviews haven’t been especially kind and player reception has been lukewarm at best. Perhaps the shift in gear back to Criterion is just what Need for Speed needs to remain relevant in an age where Forza Horizon is trumping every other open-world racer. It’s unlikely we’ll see any new Need for Speed games this console generation, but with the PS5 and Xbox Series X around the corner, it’s possible we’ll get a next-gen racer from the Guildford-based studio.