Need for Speed and Burnout developer Criterion Games has been shifted from EA Sports to EA Entertainment where it will assist in the development of the Battlefield franchise. Criterion faced a number of high-profile departures from the studio following the release of last year’s Need for Speed Unbound.
As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, an EA representative told the site that no further layoffs are planned as part of Criterion’s reshuffle under EA Entertainment, which formed earlier this year as a result of EA splitting its EA Sports brand from its other gaming divisions. As part of EA Entertainment, Criterion Games will now be working under Respawn CEO Vince Zampella, who took up the job of leading the Battlefield franchise back in 2021.
Criterion Games is no stranger to the Battlefield franchise, though. EA DICE enlisted the help of Criterion with Battlefield 2042, leading to a delay for Need for Speed Unbound. Despite assisting in the development of new Battlefield games, Criterion will still be working on the Need for Speed franchise for the foreseeable future. It’s unclear if the studio is leading the charge on the rumoured Need for Speed: Most Wanted remake which is reportedly launching in 2024.
Last month, EA confirmed that the next Battlefield game was already in development, described as a “reimagination as a truly connected ecosystem”, whatever that means, though it seems like EA wants to keep leaning into live-service for future installments.
That said, the next single-player Battlefield campaign will be helmed by Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto’s new studio, Ridgeline Games. It’s believed that EA DICE and Criterion Games might be more involved in the multiplayer aspects of the franchise, which is arguably more popular than the single-player offerings. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for the Battlefield franchise and what Criterion brings to the table.