Criterion taking full control of Need for Speed and Burnout
After the disappointment of Black Box’s The Run, this is probably a good thing.
Criterion’s vice president, Alex Ward, told Game Informer at E3 that they will now have complete control of both NFS and Burnout. He also addressed the concerns of fans over the amount of NFS games being released each year by saying:
“Maybe it’s been that way in the past, but that’s changed this year with what we’re doing… 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 continued to explain what this means and how they will have involvement in every NFS game going forward by saying:
“Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we’ll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement. I’m personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are, and what the features are.”
They didn’t clarify whether or not this means they will develop every NFS game, but the wording suggests that they will at least oversee development to ensure that the series maintains the same high standards that Criterion has shown for all of its racing games.
The NFS name covers several areas, including Hot Pursuit, Most Wanted, Shift and Underground; it will be interesting to see if any of these will be discontinued. There was less focus on the Need for Speed brand for Shift II, so it won’t come as a surprise to see that become completely independent. But it’s likely that Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, both developed by Criterion, will continue as they are.
Ward has expressed interest in all these titles coming together in one big game though, so they will most likely all see new releases. “I think it would be amazing in the future if there was one big game that had all of these in it. That would be amazing.”
With a NFS film racing for a 2014 release and Criterion’s Most Wanted drifting on to PS3s and Vitas later this year, nobody should expect NFS to slow down any time soon.
Criterion also took the time to reassure fans that they haven’t forgotten about Burnout and that they think about the series all of the time. But they feel their ambitions for the next game will require something big to happen, perhaps the next generation of consoles?
Ward said, “I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do.”
So, what are your thoughts on Criterion taking control of the Need for Speed franchise? Let us know in the comments below…