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    Criterion Shifts Focus to EA’s Battlefield Franchise, “Core Group” Remains on Need for Speed

    British Studio Criterion Concentrates on Battlefield Shooter Series, While a Smaller Team Continues Need for Speed Development

    Criterion, the British studio renowned for its work on the Need for Speed series and the classic Burnout games, is pivoting its primary focus to Electronic Arts’ (EA) Battlefield shooter franchise.

    A smaller “core group” within Criterion will continue to work on the Need for Speed series.

    Criterion has a history of contributing to the Battlefield series, having worked on titles like Battlefield V and Battlefield 2042, as well as Star Wars Battlefront 2. The talented team will now channel its expertise into enhancing Battlefield 2042 and shaping the future of the Battlefield franchise as a whole.

    Criterion’s most recent release, Need for Speed Unbound, launched in December of the previous year. While it received positive reviews, it did not achieve widespread recognition.

    The transition at Criterion comes after five senior, long-serving members left the studio around the same time, including General Manager Matt Webster, who departed after 23 years to establish a new developer called Fuse Games.

    With today’s announcement, Criterion will be incorporated into EA Entertainment, rather than EA Sports. This realignment follows the separation of EA Sports and EA Entertainment into distinct entities last year, although both still report to company boss Andrew Wilson.

    It’s worth noting that there will be no layoffs associated with this strategic shift.

    Vince Zampella, head of Battlefield and Apex at EA, expressed his excitement about Criterion’s inclusion in the Battlefield team. He emphasized EA’s commitment to Battlefield and highlighted the immediate impact Criterion’s expertise would have on Battlefield 2042 and the broader Battlefield Universe project. Zampella also noted that work would continue on the Need for Speed franchise.

    While the next Need for Speed installment may take some time to materialize, EA Sports has its own racing games in development, including EA Sports F1 and an upcoming EA Sports WRC title.

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