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Need for Speed under Criterion's control now

The Burnout developer will be overseeing the franchise from now on

Need for Speed: Most Wanted developer Criterion will be in charge of the entire franchise with the release of its latest title. Criterion vice president Alex Ward told GameInformer that the studio is ready to take the reins.

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

Criterion jumped on the series with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit in 2010, while the series primary developer, EA Black Box, handled last year's Need for Speed: The Run. Need for Speed: Most Wanted is being developed by Criterion again, with a release scheduled for October 30, 2012. When asked if EA's decision to make the series annual was watering down the franchise, he contended that Criterion's stamp would bring NFS into focus.

"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. 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," he explained.

Currently, the Need for Speed brand covers different game types, including the simulation-based Shift, the online World, the story-based The Run, and Criterion's police-based titles. Ward admits the studio "[thinks] about [Burnout] all the time", but there's no concrete plans for another. Burnout Paradise fans will have to find solace in the open-world Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

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Latest comments (6)

Chris Tilton Composer, Chris Tilton Music4 years ago
I wonder how Black Box feels about this.
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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 4 years ago
The Run wasn't particulaly well-received and - to be perfectly honest - I've not rated any of Black Box's other recent NFS titles either. Criterion, however, has done a good job with all the games they've produced for the franchise.

It's got to the point where my first reaction to Criterion producing the next game in the series was, "oh, looks like we'll be getting a good NFS game this year."
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
@ Sam

Yeah, I feel kind of sorry for Black Box, but I've read countless comments like your's on forums. :/
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Show all comments (6)
robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard4 years ago
Most Wanted looks excellent, exactly what NFS is about.
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Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer 4 years ago
I love Criterion and this is great news for them, but as a player I'm saddened to hear there's no new Burnout on the horizon :(
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
I disagree about Most Wanted being excellent. I thought all the cars drove the same and the lack of local multiplayer was horribly disappointing. Please Criterion, realize that many of us still enjoy racing games on the couch with friends, cause if you can't I'll be getting Forza: Horizon instead.
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