Electronic Arts is continuing to shake up its studios and is bringing Need for Speed back to Burnout developer Criterion Games. Developer Ghost Games in Gothenburg, Sweden had taken the reins with the series from 2013 up till now, releasing Need for Speed Heat in 2019. As part of the move, Ghost Games will be rebranded back to EA Gothenburg and will be used as a support studio with an engineering focus.
Many members of the creative team at Ghost Games will be transferred to Criterion and other studios within EA’s umbrella. However, the move will result in “30 additional staff” that are currently unaccounted for during the move. EA says that it is looking to “place as many of them as possible into other roles in the company,” though they do face potential layoffs. Part of the restructuring decision is due to the studio struggling to attract game developers in Sweden, while Criterion’s location in Guildford in England provides a deep well of development talent.
“With a strong history and passion for racing games and vision for what we can create, the Criterion team is going to take Need for Speed into the next-generation,” said EA to GamesIndustry.biz. “Ghost Games have helped to bring some great Need for Speed experiences to our players. 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.” Unfortunately, Gothenburg just could not provide a sufficient volume of talent.