Electronic Arts acquired Codemasters for US$1.2 billion (~RM5.28 bullion) early last year. Since then the question in every racing game fan’s mind was not if, but when, will the studio start being the ones to make a Need for Speed game. It is finally happening, sort of.
On Twitter, Codemasters says that its Cheshire branch is merging with Criterion Games to be the studio for future Need for Speed games. This forms “one Criterion studio with two location hubs”. The two studios have a close partnership and share common values and similar cultures, which leads to the merger making a lot of sense, as the statement claims.
We can confirm Criterion Games and the development team at Codemasters Cheshire are officially coming together to create the future of @NeedforSpeed, forming one Criterion studio with two location hubs. [1/3]
— Codemasters (@Codemasters) May 12, 2022
For fans of arcade-style racing games, this is great news. Criterion Games may be best known for the very fun Burnout Paradise, it also had a hand in a couple of Need for Speed entries. Though beyond racing games, parent publisher EA has also delegated it to doing support for shooters a number of the Battlefield entries.
As for Codemasters Cheshire, the story is a little more complicated. Known previously as the Sony subsidiary Evolution Studios, the last game it worked on was Driveclub. It was shut down in 2016, with Codemasters taking on the development team and forming the Codemasters Cheshire support studio.
So, technically, it’s not the main Codemasters studio that will be working on the next Need for Speed title. But still, with a combination like Codemasters Cheshire and Criterion Games, there’s a greater chance that things will turn out great mechanically. Of course, the publisher would still be able to pull off its monetisation shenanigans.
That being said, while there is a Need for Speed game scheduled to be released this year, nothing much is known about it other than the fact that it will only be available for the latest generation consoles. For what it’s worth, it’s currently pegged for a November release.
(Source: Codemasters / Twitter)