Electronic Arts has taken the Need for Speed license away from four-time developer Ghost Games and handed it back to Criterion.
Unfortunately, instead of continuing work on original games, Ghost Games will be placed on EA’s back burner. Renamed to EA Gothenburg, the team will be downsized to act exclusively as an “engineering hub”.
While some Ghost Games employees will be moved to Criterion to continue work on the series, there are 30 roles that are at risk.
“Outside of the engineers and those that we plan to transfer to other positions, there would be 30 additional staff in Gothenburg, and we would hope to place as many of them as possible into other roles in the company,” EA told Gamesindustry.biz.
EA said it has had a hard time establishing an independent studio in Gothenburg as the talent needed to work at the AAA studio “is just not available to us there.”
Criterion’s history with the Need for Speed license has been brief, but many feel like those entries are the best in modern years. The awesome Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: Most Wanted (the second one) were primarily handled by Criterion. Since then the company has been a secondary developer for the Battlefield and Battlefront series.