The Need For Speed Franchise Is Heading Back To Criterion After Being With Ghost Games For Years

The Need For Speed Franchise Is Heading Back To Criterion After Being With Ghost Games For Years
Credit: IGN via YouTube

The Need for Speed franchise has been going strong for years now. It’s a staple for the racing genre of gaming, featuring intense action and generally lots of cops. For the last couple of years, though, the series has been in the hands of Ghost Games. They took over starting with Need for Speed: Rivals.

Before that time, the intellectual property was in the hands of Criterion. They have made a ton of installments, with Need for Speed: Most Wanted being one of the most successful. Now, Criterion is taking back control of the series once again as Ghost Games is shifting focus and being re-branded into EA Gothenburg.

It’s a pretty interesting turn of events for the Need for Speed franchise. Normally as a franchise grows throughout the years, different developers get their hands on the IP and it evolves. However with this car racing series, it’s going back in time. That could be a good thing moving forward if you think about it.

Criterion has so much experience under their belt when it comes to car racing games. This is pretty clear with their Burnout games. Rather than going for advanced car mechanics, these games were all about anarchy and collision destruction. The Burnout series is just as beloved as the Need for Speed series, quite honestly.

So can Criterion take this iconic franchise in the right direction? That remains to be seen. It is exciting none the less. For Ghost Games, their formula was pretty set in stone. Sure, they made improvements to various features and systems over the years, but fans knew what they were getting most of the time.

Having Criterion reclaim the series could give rise to all sorts of new possibilities. There are still so many directions they can go in with the story, cop versus street racer angle, and car customizations. That last part is something Criterion should spend a lot of time perfecting.

Fans who’ve followed the series since the beginning know how fun it was customizing their cars in Need for Speed: Underground and Need for Speed: Underground 2. Criterion needs to take the series back to these roots. If they do, then there’s no reason why they can’t keep the franchise going strong for years and years. They just have to listen to the fans. Their opinions could help shape the next Need for Speed game. Criterion just needs to be open and really commit themselves.