EA will move Need for Speed development back to Criterion, Ghost Games to rebrand as EA Gothenburg

Bgamer90

Member
Oct 27, 2017
679
Leaving it with Ghost would have meant that they're treating it as B series. The fact that they're doing this tells me that they want the series to aim higher than high 60's metacritic.
NFS Heat was a pretty solid improvement over the last few current gen NFS games in my opinion. I don’t think this news is automatically good. Very skeptical considering the series has been in a bit of an identity crisis and NFS Heat was the first NFS game to actually not feel forced in a while in my opinion.
 
Feb 5, 2020
46
If EA didn't have ultimate team they would be truly screwed by now. Probably the only reason that guy is still in charge. Such a lost vapid company.
100% agreed. Too bad stupid people keep feeding them money.

NFS Heat was a pretty solid improvement over the last few current gen NFS games in my opinion. I don’t think this news is automatically good. Very skeptical considering the series has been in a bit of an identity crisis and NFS Heat was the first NFS game to actually not feel forced in a while in my opinion.
Eh, it was still very mediocre.
 

joeygreco1985

Member
Oct 27, 2017
758
I really liked NFS 2015 and NFS Heat so I'm not sure what to think about this. It's not like we're going to get another Burnout out of Criterion
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
21,513
The Criterion of today isn't the same as the Criterion of yesteryear so I'm not really sure how meaningful this transition is.

I feel kinda bad for Ghost Games even if I didn't care for their games, though. Back to engineering support with no creative input.
 

Linus815

Member
Oct 29, 2017
6,098
NFS Heat was a pretty solid improvement over the last few current gen NFS games in my opinion. I don’t think this news is automatically good. Very skeptical considering the series has been in a bit of an identity crisis and NFS Heat was the first NFS game to actually not feel forced in a while in my opinion.
I like NFS Heat too, but it still suffers from the biggest issue that every single Ghost made NFS game had, which is poor driving. It just is nowhere near as fun to drive in these games as it should be. And yes, with some customization you can make it better but cars, especially in arcade racers should feel fun to drive from the get go.

On top of that, the story was much shorter than in NFS 2015/Payback and the game has no speedlists for multiplayer. The PVP is basically non existant, making the game kinda feel pointless once you reach rep 50, which, doesn't actually take that long either.

As for identity crisis I disagree, NFS 2015 was very obviously focused too, a spiritual successor to Underground.
Payback was like Most Wanted.

Heat actually feels a lot like Undercover, but actually better. It's inherited a lot of Payback's mechanics just improved and the trash mtx/upgrade system thrown out.
 
Feb 8, 2018
1,688
What if people just dont want more need for speed anymore?


Its been 15 years since it peaked. The market has moved on.


Considering how quick EA kills other brands it's weird they have been so committed to keeping need for speed around.
A lot of people like to race and drive in open worlds and I'm not totally against the idea (Not hyped about it either) but going back to well designed closed tracks with optional traffic would change things up. I feel that for NFS, the handling should be similar to codies or bugbear's games while the over the top style should be exclusive to burnout.
 
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dgrdsv

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,540
Msk / SPb, Russia
I don't see how this will change anything. EA's approach to NFS has basically killed this franchise. What should've been a solid Forza Horizon competitor at this point has become so bad and devoid of any soul and ideas that it's hardly a competitor to any random racing game on the market presently. It doesn't matter which EA studio makes the next NFS. EA is the problem, not the dev studio.
 

A2Z90

Member
Oct 27, 2017
595
So, the next NFS will potentially not having deeper customization on cars? I don't remember Criterion Games and their racing games having more customization, like NFS The Run and Most Wanted 2012; these games completely lack of that, in terms of cosmetic and visual like choosing different kind of spoiler, bumper, etc..

If the next NFS really will be developed by them, then they better not making it bare bones with limited things to customize or like getting rid of custom paint jobs and vinyls. They need to keep what Ghost did.
 

oni-link

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,464
UK
How was the last NFS, any good?

I just want an arcade racer without intrusive online and with decent SP content, with a story not based around illegal street racing

It doesn't even need to be open world

Failing that, just put a HD Collection out of the PS2 Burnouts
 

Akai

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,210
So... Can they now split Need For Speed and Burnout into 2 seperate series again, instead of having these weird NFS x Burnout hybrid games?

Hope the devs impacted by this land on their feet.
 

Bgamer90

Member
Oct 27, 2017
679
I like NFS Heat too, but it still suffers from the biggest issue that every single Ghost made NFS game had, which is poor driving. It just is nowhere near as fun to drive in these games as it should be. And yes, with some customization you can make it better but cars, especially in arcade racers should feel fun to drive from the get go.

On top of that, the story was much shorter than in NFS 2015/Payback and the game has no speedlists for multiplayer. The PVP is basically non existant, making the game kinda feel pointless once you reach rep 50, which, doesn't actually take that long either.

As for identity crisis I disagree, NFS 2015 was very obviously focused too, a spiritual successor to Underground.
Payback was like Most Wanted.

Heat actually feels a lot like Undercover, but actually better. It's inherited a lot of Payback's mechanics just improved and the trash mtx/upgrade system thrown out.
I’m mixed on how cars should feel from the get-go. You want the improvement to be clear, but it’s also better for the game to be very enjoyable from the start. I agree that NFS Heat starts pretty slow due to your first car feeling like a tank.

NFS 2015 was pretty solid—mainly after its patches but the live action cutscenes were so cheesy. I know that’s what they were going for, but I never liked it.

I HATED Payback. Tried it on EA Access and I didn’t enjoy it at all.

Eh, it was still very mediocre
I disagree. NFS Heat’s Miami style fits NFS very well, and I enjoy how the events change from day to night. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s a fun game that doesn’t feel forced in style and story like the last two NFS games. Very fun events too.
 

DirtyLarry

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,913
How was the last NFS, any good?

I just want an arcade racer without intrusive online and with decent SP content, with a story not based around illegal street racing

It doesn't even need to be open world

Failing that, just put a HD Collection out of the PS2 Burnouts
I thought it was decent, when I could play it, last time I tried it did not work as I could not get past the menu, known issue on Xbox that I hope had to be fixed, I just never bothered checking again. but you should skip it based on what you said you want. Especially because it is absolutely based around illegal street racing, with some corrupt cops or something thrown in. I am not entirely sure what the story is about as I just paid no attention at all but I do know it is about illegal street racing somehow.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,041
Fuck, Heat was the best NFS in a long time. Not a masterpiece by a long shot, mind, but it put the series on the right track having a formula that works. Great customization, all kinds of activities, all styles. It worked, and I was legit excited about them expanding upon that model.

Seems like they're hitting the reboot button again though, and we'll probably get another weak NFS game instead. Mind you, Criterion's NFS games were solid, but at the same time they were absolutely unambitious and unexciting overall. Was watching recently a video about all NFS games and I was shocked at how many I played that I legitimately forgot about, and that included Criterion games.

Heat was flawed but the premise was great, and there were grounds to build upon the concept. Not anymore, seemingly.
 
Feb 5, 2020
46
I’m mixed on how cars should feel from the get-go. You want the improvement to be clear, but it’s also better for the game to be very enjoyable from the start. I agree that NFS Heat starts pretty slow due to your first car feeling like a tank.

NFS 2015 was pretty solid—mainly after its patches but the live action cutscenes were so cheesy. I know that’s what they were going for, but I never liked it.

I HATED Payback. Tried it on EA Access and I didn’t enjoy it at all.



I disagree. NFS Heat’s Miami style fits NFS very well, and I enjoy how the events change from day to night. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s a fun game that doesn’t feel forced in style and story like the last two NFS games. Very fun events too.
Well we can agree to disagree.

The driving model is garbage, it feels floaty and unrealistic.

Hot Pursuit
Most Wanted

Criterion's past outings are so much better, it's not even funny.
 

Asbsand

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,888
Denmark
AKA we moved a couple of NFS devs over to Criterion so that we can call it "criterion" and pretend it's the same company that made your favorite burnouts. (I don't know but it seems like such a PR stunt)

Conglomerates do this all the time, but tbf, sometimes they manage it extremely well. I'm a big fan of how SNK went down the drain only to re-emerge under a new alias and then later, another big shift caused them to restructure and they actually feel closer to the original SNK again... but that's because they have people equivalent of Sam and Dan (rip) houser at the top. They really understood what made their business successful and not just in statistics and bean-counting.

I doubt Andrew Wilson has a lot of understanding to what gave certain EA franchises their soul. But I also hope Vince Zampella has a lot of corporate influence already. I think he can really convince the higher-ups of what to do and what not to do in terms of PR and results of production. Probably a much better gatekeeper than Patrick Söderlund ever could (the man that shut down Amy's game, and a number of other passionless blunders)
 

Zephyriel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,523
Well I for one really enjoyed Heat, I wouldn't mind to have more of it. Open world + arcade gameplay + customization + cop chases is the perfect recipe for a racing game as far as I'm concerned.
 

RingRang

Member
Oct 2, 2019
1,318
1) This sounds good, as Criterion has a history of being an amazing arcade racing development house.

2) I do worry though that much of the key talent that made so many amazing racing games at Criterion has moved on. To my knowledge many of the key leadership players from their best years have moved on to new companies.

3) Hopefully this means Need for Speed will lean more heavily into the arcade angle that produced the two best NFS games IMO. Need for Speed (2010), and NFS: Most Wanted (2012).
 

banter

Member
Jan 12, 2018
3,754
This sounds like a very roundabout way of saying that they are closing ghost games. I'm glad criterion is getting NFS again but damn, EA has been savage about their studios lately.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,528
USA
> Posting an article from 2013

Like, what the actual fuck? Criterion had over 90 employees as of 2017 and they are working on a new IP.
We just had EA saying that a new game from Criterion will be released in the next years.

He is clearly pointing out that people crediting current Criterion with historic Burnout franchise stuff are mistaken as that team is what turned into Ghost Games and has evolved a lot. He isn’t at all commenting that the studio was not replacing the original staff since that gutting. Point is, don’t look at these studios as intact versions of your old favorites at all.
 

banter

Member
Jan 12, 2018
3,754
Because they are not, just read the article.
Well they said they are moving a bunch of them to different studios and the others who don't move are at risk because they're turning it into something different. That, to me, means they're dumping ghost games, throwing the "good people" at other studios, and starting a new studio.
 

Chronospherics

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Oct 28, 2017
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If EA didn't have ultimate team they would be truly screwed by now. Probably the only reason that guy is still in charge. Such a lost vapid company.
Well, now they also have Apex Legends also. I think they really hit the jackpot when they purchased Respawn.

Which is ironic, because Respawn are a studio that's quite far removed from how EA manage the rest of their internal teams. I think if a big company like EA spent their time acquiring studios and letting them work at their own pace, with their own tech and pipelines, they'd find much more success than they have been recently.
 

Stygr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,471
Well they said they are moving a bunch of them to different studios and the others who don't move are at risk because they're turning it into something different. That, to me, means they're dumping ghost games, throwing the "good people" at other studios, and starting a new studio.
Aaaaand you didn't read lol

Ghost Games is going to be renamed EA Gothenbourg and the tech devs will stay in the company to work on tech; the creative team was moved to Criterion and there are 30 more jobs up in the air; they will either let go or they will find their place to other EA studios.
 

banter

Member
Jan 12, 2018
3,754
Aaaaand you didn't read lol

Ghost Games is going to be renamed EA Gothenbourg and the tech devs will stay in the company to work on tech; the creative team was moved to Criterion and there are 30 more jobs up in the air; they will either let go or they will find their place to other EA studios.
You literally said I was wrong then reworded what I said... EA Gothenbourg will basically be a new studio going a different direction from what ghost games did. There were team members moved, and there were some who are at risk (unless they find them a spot in another studio).
 

Rabalder.

Member
Dec 8, 2018
956
So happy with this news. Criterion have made the only great NFS games since like 2005. Ghost had, what, 3 shots at it and just couldn’t make a noteworthy racing game. Was certain EA were going to axe Criterion.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,308
It is really easy, remake Hot Pursuit 2010 graphics and adjust gameplay, relaunch and that is it.
This is honestly what i've wanted all generation. The fact that they're shifting it back to Criterion, and EA have stated that they're going to do more remasters, gives me some hope that maybe we'll get a remastered version of 2010 while Criterion works on the next iteration of NFS.
 

BAD

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Oct 25, 2017
6,528
USA
Well, now they also have Apex Legends also. I think they really hit the jackpot when they purchased Respawn.

Which is ironic, because Respawn are a studio that's quite far removed from how EA manage the rest of their internal teams. I think if a big company like EA spent their time acquiring studios and letting them work at their own pace, with their own tech and pipelines, they'd find much more success than they have been recently.
As cool as the idea sounded to build Frostbite tools for every genre and make a massively robust toolset for its studios, it has become clear that it is a failed experiment despite being stunning for its original purposes inside DICE. It hindered many projects we know of and studios couldn’t keep up one version of the engine for all studios because they didn’t have the same needs and support, so I’m sure at this point they’re well aware that Respawn looks like proof that major releases can thrive without the Frostbite vision.
 

Chronospherics

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As cool as the idea sounded to build Frostbite tools for every genre and make a massively robust toolset for its studios, it has become clear that it is a failed experiment despite being stunning for its original purposes inside DICE. It hindered many projects we know of, so I’m sure at this point they’re well aware that Respawn looks like proof that major releases can thrive without the Frostbite vision.
On the other hand, Apex Legends is a technical nightmare despite the studio having free reign of their technology.

I have never crashed and disconnected on a game more so than on Apex Legends.

Still, as janky and broken as the output is, at least the team were able to put it together in a timely manner, because it was built using a toolset they were familiar with.
 

mreddie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
16,836
Misery, AZ
Heat is either dead or this was in the works since the sales got back.

Payback's stink never went away and while Heat sold well, EA I guess thought Ghost kinda fucked up even though a lot of the team from the NuCriterion is just Ghost.

I just hope EA lets Criterion do their NFS and not the botched but happy accident that was MW 2012.


Just keep the customization the way it is to rival Forza and reduce the story to a bare plot.
 

Chronospherics

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Oct 28, 2017
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Aaaaand you didn't read lol

Ghost Games is going to be renamed EA Gothenbourg and the tech devs will stay in the company to work on tech; the creative team was moved to Criterion and there are 30 more jobs up in the air; they will either let go or they will find their place to other EA studios.
EA Gothenbourg... why strip a studio of its identity? I don't understand the incentive to do that. If Ghost games are going to work on tech, why not just remove the ghost' part and call them EA Ghost? EA Gothenbourg just sounds like a soulless husk of a studio, which is probably what it will end up feeling like working there given the circumstances.
 

banter

Member
Jan 12, 2018
3,754
You said they were closing Ghost Games when they are not.

Read or at least remember what you are writing before replying next time.

You wrote this
I know what I said, and when a studio ceases to exist and members are let go if there isn't another place that they want them, it's basically the same as the studio closing. Ghost games will no longer exist, EA Gothenbourg will be a studio that does different things than ghost games did. This is not just renaming a studio. This is closing a studio, keeping the useful talent that can be used elsewhere, and starting a new studio in its place.

I'm aware it is not an outright studio closure hence why I said a roundabout way. It is much more generous as many people will still have their job, granted in a different place. But there are people losing their jobs as well. It is essentially a studio closure.
 

Tbm24

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,733
EA Gothenbourg... why strip a studio of its identity? I don't understand the incentive to do that. If Ghost games are going to work on tech, why not just remove the ghost' part and call them EA Ghost? EA Gothenbourg just sounds like a soulless husk of a studio, which is probably what it will end up feeling like working there given the circumstances.
Name changes like that are usually par for the course when restructuring, which is what’s happening here. It only sounds soulless because you’re choosing to interpret it that way. The name would actually better reflect what they seemingly want the studio to do. I’m not in a position to say the work they will be doing is soulless.
 

Stygr

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Oct 26, 2017
8,471
EA Gothenbourg... why strip a studio of its identity? I don't understand the incentive to do that. If Ghost games are going to work on tech, why not just remove the ghost' part and call them EA Ghost? EA Gothenbourg just sounds like a soulless husk of a studio, which is probably what it will end up feeling like working there given the circumstances.
That's pretty normal.
When there is restructuring, the name change is always a thing; EA DICE LA is going to leave DICE and their projects and focus on their own games and they will be renamed.
And it's pretty embarassing to call the studio "soulless" because they changed the name and they are working on tech.

I guess both EA studios in Montreal and Stockholm working on Frostbite are also soulless because they work on the engine right?