EA plans to shift a few assets around as current, Ghost Games, seeks to become EA Gothenburg once again. Due to the changes, EA will be moving development of the Need for Speed franchise back to Criterion.
EA moving Need for Speed back to Criterion
While Criterion’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted received better scores than Payback and Heat (according to Metacritic), the changes stem from overall expertise rather than product success. Responding to GamesIndustry.biz, EA stated “The engineering expertise in our Gothenburg team, some of whom are architects of the Frostbite engine, is vital to a number of our ongoing projects, and they would remain in that location.”
Frostbite causing issues for developers not experienced with the engine is no secret. A lot of pain points for multiple titles in the EA portfolio have been blamed on the engine’s rough company wide implementation. This seems like a wise move on behalf of EA to improve the quality of their games. With more self-publishing opportunities blooming, one might think the industry giant will have a number of tactics to maintain its wide reach.
As for the Ghost Games creative personnel, plans are forming to transfer many to positions at Criterion among other places. Despite that, EA has confirmed that roughly 30 or so positions may or may not be reassigned. Good luck from Sports Gamers Online to those few.
Regardless of staff changes, both studios look to be in healthy positions moving forward. Criterion, who has spent the last few years supporting the endeavors of EA DICE, will be moving back to their tried and true racing genre. And, according to EA, the engineer teams left in Gothenburg will be critical in ongoing projects.
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