Burnout Paradise developers return for new 'Need for Speed' game

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Fans of the 'Need for Speed' video game series will be happy to know that EA have some big plans for the racing series.

EA have confirmed that they are changing gears to Criterion Games to help drag the series out of what has been a rut for a number of years.

The UK-based studio is best known for the 'Burnout' franchise and has previously offered support on 'Need for Speed' games.

Whilst Ghost Games had taken the lead role in terms of developing for the previous few titles, Criterion is set to take their place for the next instalment.

Last year’s 'Need for Speed Heat', was said to be a decent enough effort yet left fans wanting more. Criticism of the game was that it lacked the energy of previous titles.

In its 25 years, the series had been worked on by a number of developers. Criterion took the lead for 2010 release 'Hot Pursuit' and 2012’s 'Most Wanted' before Ghost Games helped release titles from 2013 onwards with the likes of 'Rivals', 'Need for Speed', 'Payback' and last year’s 'Heat'.

'Payback', released in 2017, was heavily criticised for monetisation features. 'Heat', whilst admittedly a step in the right direction, seemingly didn’t do enough to steer the game into the homes of long-term fans.

In the statement to GamesIndustry, the publisher claims that the main reason for the switch was the lack of interest for development talent to Gothenburg. The Swedish city remains the base for Ghost Games.

The studio is slated to return to its original name of EA Gothenburg and is set to switch focus onto engineering support. This leaves 30 jobs at risk.

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"Ghost Games have helped to bring some great Need for Speed experiences to our players," EA said in its statement.

"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.

"Despite our best efforts to establish an independent development group in Gothenburg over several years, it's become clear that the breadth of talent we need to maintain a full AAA studio is just not available to us there.

“Criterion can also provide the consistent leadership that we need to continue creating and delivering new Need for Speed experiences for a long time to come."

Alternately, Criterion is based out of Guildford. The Surrey town is home to a number of developers and video game companies that include Ubisoft, Hello Games and Supermassive.

The new 'Need for Speed' title is expected to launch on next-gen consoles due to Xbox Series X and PS5 set for launch before Christmas.

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