Image via Criterion

New Need for Speed will be developed by a combined studio of Criterion and Codemasters

Driving is more fun with a buddy.

Rumors and reports about the next Need for Speed game have been flying down the track for months now, so it’s nice to get some concrete information about the upcoming racer. It’s not information about the name or setting, but it does give us high expectations for whatever the game will be.

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Codemasters is a studio with a strong racing pedigree: the teams have developed titles like Fuel, Grid, and F1 for more than a decade now. Meanwhile, Criterion has taken back the Need for Speed franchise as the main developer after Ghost Games released several middling titles. Now, the two are combining forces. As shared by the Codemasters Twitter account, one of its studio locations is being absorbed. “We can confirm Criterion Games and the development team at Codemasters Cheshire are officially coming together to create the future of Need for Speed,” it declares. This will result in “one Criterion studio with two location hubs.”

The merger will seemingly have zero effect on the game, as the thread goes on to say that the two studios have had a “close partnership over the past few months.” In other words, Codemasters Cheshire was already working on Need for Speed, so a name change just made sense. Both were under the EA banner to begin with. If anything, this sets Criterion up for success with multiple studios to work on its future projects.

The announcement comes on the heels of numerous insider reports about the next Need for Speed. The new racing game is reportedly current-gen only and releasing this holiday, after being delayed due to Criterion’s support of Battlefield 2042 development. Stylistically, it’s said to have “anime elements.” For all the speculation, we do at least have a launch window for the upcoming game. Need for Speed, along with four unannounced titles, is part of EA’s 2022-2023 release schedule. Reports say it’s due between October and the end of the year.

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Image of Tony Wilson
Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.