The developers of games such as Need For Speed:Rivals are facing up to a downturn in fortunes and staff now face losing their jobs.
Need For Speed Release Put On Hold
The Surrey, England offices of the EA Gothenburg studio Ghost Games’ , who had made Need For Speed: Rivals, have been facing layoffs, putting their new Need For Speed title on hold for the foreseeable future.
It is rumored that the closures are due to the poor performance of the latest Need For Speed title, ‘Rivals’.
Contractors were let go, and full time workers at the Surrey offices were told by EA that they could either take compensation or work on Visceral’s upcoming police themed Battlefield game due out later this year, which is being worked on under the code name “Havana”. Visceral Games are also famous for developing the Dead Space series.
New IP Now In Doubt
Just several weeks ago EA confirmed that the Criterion Games’ founders, Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, had also left the studio. Criterion were the creative minds behind Need For Speed for several years before it was given to Ghost Games’. Sperry and Ward have stated that they are interested in starting a new studio but will probably still work for EA with this new studio.
Matt Webster, a developer at Criterion for many years, is said to be taking over control of Criterion.
EA have stated that Criterion are currently working on new IP for next generation consoles. Around 80% of Criterion’s staff worked on Need For Speed: Rivals, and the rest were working on a ‘secret project’ – a new IP. Then between 60 and 65% of their staff moved over to Ghost Games’, with around 20% remaining at Criterion.
EA Yet To Make Statement
As things currently stand,Electronic Arts have not released an official statement regarding the layoffs, or the future of the Need For Speed series, but it is likely that the future of the Need For Speed franchise lies in the hands of the EA Gothernburg studio in Sweden.
The remaining staff at Ghost Games’ are now working with Visceral on the rumored Battlefield title which is said to have a police based theme.