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EA handing Need for Speed franchise back to Criterion

EA is handing the Need for Speed franchise back to Criterion Games and turning current franchise custodian Ghost Games into an engineering support studio.

EA is handing the Need for Speed franchise back to Criterion Games and turning current franchise custodian Ghost Games into an engineering support studio. 

As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, Ghost Games would be rebranded as EA Gothenburg and turned into an engineering hub so it can support development across the entire EA portfolio. 

Although EA claims it plans on transferring a number of Ghost Games staffers over to Criterion, the move will likely result in a number of layoffs, and at the moment it looks like up to 30 roles could be at risk. 

"The engineering expertise in our Gothenburg team, some of whom are architects of the Frostbite engine, is vital to a number of our ongoing projects, and they would remain in that location," reads an EA statement. 

"Outside of the engineers and those that we plan to transfer to other positions, there would be 30 additional staff in Gothenburg, and we would hope to place as many of them as possible into other roles in the company." 

Ghost Games has released four titles in the Need for Speed series, including the latest entry Need for Speed Heat, having overseen the franchise since 2013. 

Criterion, on the other hand, is best known for its work on the Burnout series, but developed both Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed Rivals at the start of the last decade. In the years since, it has largely been tasked with helping DICE on the Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield franchises.

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