Criterion's creative director Alex Ward has taken to Twitter to suggest that the company is shifting its focus away from the racing games it is so famous for, at least for the time being.
"Here is what I want folks to know. Some folks are eternally disappointed. Nothing I can do about that. So many tweets asking for new Burnout'" he said in a series of updates on the social networking site.
"Equally many tweets asking for a new NFS game from us. Also Road Rash. Whilst I love all of those games, I am personally not doing any."
While the "personally" suggests that just Ward could be making a move away from racing development, he also wanted to warn fans not to wait for games that would never come, and added that he had experienced that disappointment for himself, suggesting his statement applies to the development studio as a whole. He was coy about what he or Criterion would be working on instead.
"After over a decade of making racing games it's time to make something new. It is early days thus I have nothing to 'announce' or talk about. I will do my best to keep folks in the loop who want to follow what we play or what inspires us. Or what we might be listening to.
"But if you are following me expecting some Megaton of a new Burnout game, or an Underground remake then I have to disappoint you."
He expressed pride in the previous Burnout games, and gave fans some hope by saying there could be another "when it feels right" to the team.
Ward joined Criterion in 2001, and in 2004 Criterion Games and Criterion Software were acquired by EA and went on to make shooter Black and the Burnout series of racing games. More recently the company has released Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
Ward added that as well as taking a break from the racing, the company would not be returning to its shooter roots either.
"No Black2 either folks. Volumes to tell on that topic, but will save that for when I get a book deal..."
Ward has since added to his original statements on Twitter, with the phrase "The key word was 'personally,'" though has still not clarified exactly what the future of either the Burnout or Need For Speed franchises are as far as Criterion is concerned.