Criterion takes over entire Need for Speed franchise

Electronic Arts has allowed a number of its development studios to make games based on the Need for Speed franchise during its long history. Starting this year, that will change. Game Informer reports that UK-based Criterion Games will now be in charge of the action-racing franchise from now on, starting with this fall's release of Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

Criterion vice president Alex Ward is quoted as saying:

Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future. It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it - it's definitely a Criterion gig now.

That's likely good news for Need For Speed fans, which were treated to Criterion's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit in 2010. In 2011, the release of Need For Speed: The Run, developed by EA's Canadian-based Black Box team, was not as well received.

And what about the Burnout franchise? While Criterion released the downloadable game Burnout Crash in 2011, there hasn't been a major retail Burnout game since Burnout Paradise came out in January 2008. Ward states that he thinks about the series all the time but adds, "I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do."

Source: Game Informer | Image via EA

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I'm assuming that when he said, "I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do.", they mean they're waiting for net gen systems. Really enjoyed Burnout Paradise so would love to see a follow up at some point here.

Fine by me. Criterion are the only people that have made anything NFS speed related that I've liked for a very long time.

I'd much rather they be working on a new Burnout game though.

I hate both Criterion and Black Box. The games made by them are soul less. I wish it was made by the same old team who made classics like High Stakes (original EA Team in US) or Porsche Unleashed (Eden Games).

I thought The Run was very good, especially after the patch that improved the reset mechanics. Had some frustrating points but overall worthwhile.

I love Criterion, but this still makes me a little sad. Criterion and Black Box made the only racing games I enjoy anymore. (Well there's still Bugbear putting out fun lower budget ones, but anyway.)

I'll wait for the upcoming release and then i will decide if its a good thing or a bad one. Now its too early to judge. Last few black box games weren't good.