In a joint announcement, Codemasters confirmed they are co-developing the next Need for Speed title with the Criterion Games team.
Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed franchise has had a bit of a hiatus over the past few years, as the publisher looks to retool and restore the racing series back to its glory years. Some of the final releases are handled by Ghost Games, a Swedish studio that was originally founded as the main developer of the Need for Speed franchise starting in 2013. Although the games are. managed to find a fan base, but all three titles met with average reviews, but ultimately fell short of EA’s high expectations.
In fact, Need for Speed Heat was the last game with Ghost Games as the lead developer. After the game launched in 2019, Ghost Games was scaled back, renamed EA Gothenburg, and turned into a tech support studio with a focus on Frostbite Engine. The Need for Speed franchise has been transferred to Criterion Games, a studio with a long history of racing thanks to the Burnout franchise and more recent work on Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted.
However, a new opportunity seems to have emerged in 2021 when EA buys Codemasters, the creators of iconic racing franchises like Dirt, F1, Grid and Colin McRae Rally. As expected, Electronic Arts quickly shuffled its newly acquired Codemasters into the Need for Speed franchise. In an engagement announcement on Twitter, Codemasters confirmed that their Cheshire studio is currently working on the next Need for Speed alongside Criterion.
In fact, Codemasters Cheshire and Criterion are merging to become a Criterion studio with two locations to help facilitate development. The announcement continued by saying that the integration builds on the close partnership the two studios have shared and that the fusion and combined experience will help build a better racing experience for Need for Speed fan base. Responses to the news seemed mixed with those hoping the franchise could return to its former glory, with others not so convincing.
Unfortunately, no other details were provided, but it looks like work on the next Need for Speed is in the early stages as these two studios come together. For now, fans continue to rely on rumors and leaks, some of which have surfaced recently. While still unconfirmed, recent rumors suggest that the sequel will be next-gen and feature anime style elements. While that might be a surprising twist for the brand, the visuals will remain authentic, and it will also incorporate anime-style highlights and lights, such as animated flames, to accentuate. enable on-screen action.
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