EA is expanding Criterion Games by integrating Codemasters Cheshire into the studio to work on future Need for Speed titles. Codemasters recently took to social media to confirm the news, which will now allow two development studios to bolster the Need for Speed franchise.
Criterion Games will now encompass both its original studio in Guildford as well as Codemasters’ Cheshire studio, essentially getting more hands on deck to develop future Need for Speed games. However, Codemasters Birmingham will continue to work on the F1 franchise.
An EA spokesperson recently told GamesIndustry.biz:
“This integration builds off the close partnership the two studios have developed over the past few months.
Sharing common values and similar cultures, we strongly believe unifying the huge wealth of experience across both teams will help us to deliver the best racing experiences we can for our players.”
This merger combines two studios with great experience developing racing games. Codemasters’ portfolio includes racing franchises such as F1, DIRT and GRID, while Criterion Games previously developed the Burnout series as well as 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Criterion has also acted as a support studio on several other EA projects.
The next entry in the Need for Speed franchise is scheduled to launch later this year, though it will skip out on PS4 and Xbox One in favour of releasing only on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Former developer Ghost Games, which developed prior Need for Speed games including Rivals (under EA Gothenburg), the 2015 entry, Payback and Heat, was closed by EA a couple of years ago as development shifted back to Criterion Games.
Criterion Games being expanded with the talent at Codemasters Cheshire is surely a good sign of things to come, as both can offer expertise in the racing genre.