Criterion’s the lead Need for Speed studio

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Over the years, a number of studios have worked on the various Need for Speed Games that’ve been inflicting that series brand of racing on gamers. The last good one, Hot Pursuit, was developed by Burnout developer Criterion – and it looks like that’s a trend that’s set to continue – as Criterion is now the main NFS studio.

Criterion’s vice president Alex Ward has confirmed that Need for Speed won’t be handed out to random developers any more – and they they might not all  be developed by Criterion, the Burnout developer will certainly oversee every game, and put their distinctive mark on Need for Speed games

“Maybe it’s been that way in the past, but that’s changed this year with what we’re doing… Our stamp’s going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future,” he said. “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.

And though Ward wouldn’t say that they were the sole developer on NFS, it was strongly hinted at.

“Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we’ll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement,” he went on,” said Ward. “I’m personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are, and what the features are.”

I don’t, fundamentally, have a problem with this; Criterion’s Hot Pursuit was fantastic, while Black Box’s The Run was a jumbled mess of quick-time events and Baysplosions. The only worrying thing about it is the fate of Burnout – a series I favour far, far more than Need for Speed. 

“I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do.”

Need for Speed: Most Wanted – developed by Criterion – is set to hit consoles and PC in October this year.

Last Updated: June 25, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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