Need For Speed: EA moves development back to Criterion ahead of next-gen consoles

Need For Speed is one of the most iconic racing franchises across all of gaming.

First released in 1994, the series hit its peak in the early 2000s and has been chasing that magic ever since.

2019's Need For Speed: Heat was a strong offering, coming in with a 3.5-star rating, but it seems like changes are afoot for the franchise.

Ghost Games, who have been in charge of the franchise for the past four titles, is getting downsized and refocusing on engineering. As the home of EA's Frostbite Engine it will still play a huge part in the company, but Need For Speed is moving back to the UK.

Criterion take over for the next-gen NFS

Customizing your ride in Need For Speed Heat
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AS YOU WANT: Heat had a lot of customization options

UK developers Criterion, best known for the Burnout series, have handled Need For Speed before.

They were the home for 2010's Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and 2012's Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but the team is very different now, with both founders having left since then.

The move comes ahead of the release of the next-gen consoles.

READ MORE: RealOpinions: Can NFS ever regain its magic?

Both Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X are due to hit the shelves in late 2020, and both boast amazing specs that will take gaming to the next level.

So the move to a more creative-driven team should be a shot-in-the-arm for the series ahead of the switch to new hardware.

We are hopeful this move can see NFS recapture the magic it used to have and return the franchise to the top of the racing heap.

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