After four games, and the entire generation, Need for Speed is moving back to Criterion Games. Ghost Games has been development lead since 2013 with Need for Speed Rivals kicking off the console generation and finishing with Need for Speed Heat late last year.
It’s been a bumpy road and the series is once again stagnated, which is due to some really scummy decisions in the last few years. However, things were slowly turning around over the last year or so.
However, EA confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that the move was official and already underway. “With a strong history and passion for racing games and vision for what we can create, the Criterion team is going to take Need for Speed into the next-generation.”
According to EA, the move was because in Gothenburg, where Ghost Games is located, recruiting was difficult and there wasn’t enough talent being hired there. Instead, with the shift back to Guildford, one of gaming’s biggest development hubs.
Ghost Games will be renamed EA Gothenburg, with the team there acting as support on Frostbite engine. If possible, EA wants to transfer people to other studios so they can stick around.
It’s nice to see Criterion once again making Need for Speed titles, as 2012’s Most Wanted was an exceptional entry in the series. Unfortunately, the series has plateaued over the years and Forza Horizon now a leader in the genre, EA will need to play catch up to win back racers.