EA Is Closing Need For Speed Developer Ghost Games

Gaming giant EA is to hand control of the Need for Speed franchise back to Criterion, dissolving Ghost Games altogether
EA Is Closing Need For Speed Developer Ghost Games

EA is shutting down the game studio that developed the last four Need for Speed titles, putting 30 jobs at risk. Ghost Games is to be dissolved, with its Swedish premises turned into an engineering hub to assist development right across the EA portfolio.

The Gothenburg-based studio had been in command of the popular franchise since 2013, when it released Need for Speed: Rivals. A reboot of the original game arrived in 2015, then Payback in 2017 and Heat last year. However, the studio has struggled to attract enough talent to Sweden and says it needs to relocate development to a bigger hub to ensure there are enough great minds available.

Remote video URL

While most of the staff at Ghost will be reassigned either to the new engineering hub there or to UK-based Criterion, which will be taking over the franchise, the futures of 30 staff are in doubt. EA says it is working to try to find roles for them in other departments.

Criterion has previously had control over the well-know title. It developed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Slightly confusingly there’s also a Ghost Games contingent already based within Criterion at the latter’s base in Guildford; a major hub for video game development. Whether the Ghost team will continue to operate under that name or simply be absorbed into Criterion is not yet clear.

Remote video URL

In a statement EA said:

“With a strong history and passion for racing games and vision for what we can create, the Criterion team is going to take Need for Speed into the next-generation,” EA stated.

“Ghost Games have helped to bring some great Need for Speed experiences to our players. Consistently delivering that at AAA levels means we need teams with diverse skills in locations where we can continually support them and bring in new team members to join.

“Despite our best efforts to establish an independent development group in Gothenburg over several years, it’s become clear that the breadth of talent we need to maintain a full AAA studio is just not available to us there. Criterion can also provide the consistent leadership that we need to continue creating and delivering new Need for Speed experiences for a long time to come.

“Criterion is a fantastic studio, and we’re looking forward to adding to their talented team and building a great future for Need for Speed. The engineering teams in Gothenburg are also vital to our ongoing plans across EA.”


Robert Gracie

Its just a shock to see this happen when developers like this close….

02/13/2020 - 13:44 |
8 | 0

The Run was good but too short
Should have left BlackBox alone and made them do NFS games only

02/13/2020 - 13:51 |
22 | 0
Robert Gracie

In reply to by DG65425

Wasnt that the game with QTEs in it when the player was out of the car?

02/13/2020 - 15:41 |
6 | 0

Whatever. NFS pretty sh*te anyways.

02/13/2020 - 15:17 |
6 | 0
Robert Gracie

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

In recent games yes, I remember when NSFU2 came out and I had it for years that was an awesome game but then it got that microtransactions stuff in the recent games and it went well….backwards….

02/13/2020 - 15:41 |
18 | 0

Noice, Criterion Games rules

02/13/2020 - 16:21 |
6 | 0

Shut up they made the worst and most disrespectful game ever nfs: most wanted 2012

02/14/2020 - 00:31 |
2 | 10
🎺🎺thank mr skeltal

Yeah whatever, Ghost Games hasn’t put out any good games at all.

02/13/2020 - 16:37 |
4 | 2

Again SHUT UP!

02/14/2020 - 00:32 |
2 | 10

Hey guys, spotted a mistake:

“Criterion has previously had control over the well-know title. It developed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, in 2010 and 2012 respectively. “

The video posted however is of the original “Need for Speed; Most Wanted”, made in 2005.
With (according to wikipedia), developers:
EA Black Box, Visceral Games, Sensory Sweep Studios, EA Vancouver, Firemonkeys Studios

To me this was misleading, since I absolutely loved this original NFSIII:Hot Pursuit and NFS:MW, the new ones not so much.

The reason was the old ones were developed before the car-control was altered to the break/gas to initialze races, repair at a gas/petrolstation and tap-to-drift. The new games (and newer NFS titles as well) took way more liking to gameplay from “Burnout Paradise” (2008), which was made by Criterion Games (Burnout Paradise was made before a ‘reboot’ of “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit” (2010). Reboot, since the original was “Need for Speed III : Hot Pursuit (1998) and also had a sequel “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (2002)” ).

Back on topic: The BMW E46 M3 GTR from the original NFS:MW is however present in multiple games, including the last NFS Heat.

02/13/2020 - 16:44 |
4 | 0
1950 Mercury Coupe

Does this mean that more Criterion “masterpieces” like Need For Speed Most Wanted (2012) are awaiting us?

02/13/2020 - 16:55 |
0 | 0

MW2 was EA’s fault since they rushed Criterion. You can see videos on YouTube about their original project before they had to ditch it. They actually wanted to make a worthy sequel.

02/13/2020 - 19:43 |
2 | 0
Olds Alero

WHOAAAAHHHH who could’ve guessed?? EA closing another studio for no good reason?? Lord, at least this time it was one they themselves started.

02/13/2020 - 17:03 |
6 | 0

Oh it was for a good reason lol, all the games under Ghost flopped long term.

02/27/2020 - 03:03 |
0 | 0

This is a good thing.

Hot Pursuit was my favorite NFS game ever.

02/14/2020 - 02:56 |
0 | 0

I don’t understand,all gamer want a tru sequel to the underground series and they ignored the requested,doing game where you drift a FF with a rubber banding AI…

02/14/2020 - 14:09 |
0 | 0


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