Criterion is waving the checkered flag on racing games

2 min read


There’s not too many studios out there that can boast a rather impressive line-up of work in just one genre. Fighting games are the domain of Capcom, Rockstar has left their mark on sandbox games and Empire Interactive makes the best Hello Kitty games. Add Criterion to that list, with their rock-solid line of racing games. Except they won’t be doing any driving anytime soon.

After debunking rumours that they would be remaking Need For Speed Underground, Criterion creative director Alex Ward has done some more tweeting via Destructoid, saying that the EA-backed studio will instead pursue a different genre entirely.

Criterion dumping the racing genre is the equivalent of Game Freak tossing Pokemon out the window so that they can concentrate on MMOs. Criterion has been a driving force (Ha!) behind racing games for a decade now, from the ludicrously over the top Burnout series, to their recent work on Need For Speed.

So does that mean that we’ll get to see  a sequel to their 2006 ridicudonk shooter, Black? Nope, says Ward:

It’s kind of strange to see EA allowing one of their studios to go off in a new direction, especially when it’s away from one of their premiere franchises, leaving the racing reigns with Black Box. But at the same time, Criterion has most likely earned that right.

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Here’s to the future then for that studio.


Last Updated: April 16, 2013

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Deon Steyn

    Maybe EA will incorporate them in SimCity. So the can help with the traffic bugs? Or maybe something new like NFSSC, Need For Speed Sim City?

    • Anon A Mouse

      Space flight simulators.

      • Deon Steyn

        Yes Please!

      • Lourens Jordaan

        Give that man a bells!

      • Skyblue

        Nothing decent in that line since Freespace 2. I was more of a TIE Fighter fanboy though.

  • Anon A Mouse

    I will so love a new Black. It was an awesome game when it came out. But I do feel that racing games have run its course, with nothing new being done and only minor adjustments being made to older games and then re-branded.

    • Rincethis: Spellalicious

      I see what you did there!

  • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

    Lets hope they actually HAVE a future seperated from EA, and dont just get retrenched…..

    • Deon Steyn

      Their games make EA too much money I would think…. for now.

      • Skyblue

        Their racing games have made EA a fortune, EA no doubt are fully aware of this so I wouldn’t put anything past them down the line.

  • matthurstrsa

    Man I still jam Burnout Revenge sometimes. So much fun.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Sad to see them change but great to see them trying new avenues. Maybe some good ideas and fresh ideas can come of all this

  • silverscorpio

    What was wrong with Black? I loved that game. Oh well. Hope they make another shooter in line with what Black was.

  • Skyblue

    This doesn’t really make any sense to me, even though Black was an outstanding FPS game (for a console). Criterion have made their reputation on creating some of the most chaotic and more importantly, FUN racing games ever played by gamer’s, ever.
    I hope they know what they’re doing…

  • FoxOneZA – The Chosen One

    NFS as a franchise has no future now.

  • I liked the NFS games up to Underground 2. Everything after that started going downhill. Then discovered that I find myself enjoying the titles from Codemasters 😛

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