Developer Criterion is down to a minimal crew because it chose not to work on anymore Need For Speed titles for Electronic Arts.
Criterion released Need For Speed: Most Wanted in 2012, but the studio decided to relinquish control of the series in favor of working on something new. In response, much of the team that worked at Criterion moved to Ghost Games in the U.K., which is now working on Need For Speed: Rivals for PC as well as current- and next-gen consoles
In a tweet to a fan, Criterion creative director Alexander Ward confirmed that Criterion only has 17 employees:
Ward explicitly stated that much of Criterion left to continue working on Need for Speed in the Guildford-based Ghost U.K., but he also confirmed that Criterion is sticking around.
Criterion previously worked on the Burnout series. Its critical success with Burnout Paradise led to EA putting the studio on the long-running Need For Speed franchise.
Criterion is working on a new, undisclosed project. The only thing that is certain is that it has nothing to do with the Need For Speed franchise.
Ward concluded on a positive note by telling fans that there is no reason to concern themselves with the well-being of Criterion or the Need For Speed franchise.
“I wouldn’t worry at all,” he wrote on Twitter. “NFS is in safe hands, and it’s all about making great games. It’s all positive.”