Criterion at the helm of Need for Speed franchise

After having jumped from one developer to the next for so many years, vice president of Criterion Games Alex Ward dropped the news during an interview at E3 earlier this month that his studio will be the head of the Need for Speed franchise from now on. It went unmentioned whether this means Criterion will oversee the development of NFS games or actually be the one developing any and all forthcoming iterations, but whichever the case may be, the developer’s “stamp’s going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed.”

“Maybe it’s been that way in the past, but that’s changed this year with what we’re doing,” answered Ward when asked about EA’s plan to release NFS games on a yearly basis. “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 added.

Ward also mentioned he’s personally involved in the development of the studio’s upcoming Most Wanted, as will the company be with all things NFS.

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

As for any Burnout-related news, there were none, but if we were to speculate on the series’ future, we’d say it’s becoming predictably obvious we’ll see the next Burnout running on next-gen hardware long before this current generation gets another crack at it… if ever again. But hey, what do we know? After all, someone, somewhere, thought it’d be a good idea to turn Need for Speed into a movie. I wonder if Criterion will have a say in the matter…