Criterion Dominate NFS and Burnout

Taken from Gameinformer:

Gamers were ecstatic when developer Criterion signed on for its first Need for Speed title in 2009, and with its second NFS game coming this fall in Most Wanted, the studio is poised to take full control of the franchise.

We talked to Criterion vice president Alex Ward at E3, and he revealed that from now on Criterion will be in charge of the entire franchise. When asked whether he thought EA's original plan to release a Need for Speed title of some kind every year was watering down the series, Ward said, "Maybe it's been that way in the past, but that's changed this year with what we're doing… Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future. It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it - it's definitely a Criterion gig now.

"Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we'll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement," he explained. "I'm personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are, and what the features are."

The studio would not clarify if Criterion will directly develop every Need for Speed title, as Ward intimated, or simply oversee the series, when we asked them after our interview.

Ward was, however, clear that Criterion will have control over which Need for Speed titles will come out in the future. As of now the franchise covers different areas with its Shift, Most Wanted, Underground, and Hot Pursuit imprints, and although there's no definite road map for what kind of future Need for Speed games Criterion and EA will release, Ward expressed interest in one all-encompassing NFS title. "I think it would be amazing in the future if there was one big game that had all of these in it. That would be amazing."

As for the Burnout franchise, Criterion definitely has not forgotten the series and its many fans. The studio put out the downloadable Burnout Crash! last year, but Ward was mum on the future of Burnout other than to say that the developer "[thinks] about it all the time.

"I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do."


SUFFUR's picture

( i assume you have to cut and paste that link) as Nick put up on his tweeter via @Burnoutaholics.there are many others, as Google is ur friend.

After reading stuff about Criterion's lock on the NFS Series, which is a good thing I think, though Alex's written about cocksuredness (yes i made it up, lol), about gaining this 'Very large Brand', was funny, again in a good way. 

The NFS Series has fractured into several types of racing 'genres', serious racing, Shift, Arcade racing and chasing, Hot pursuit, Cops and robbers arcade with the Most Wanted and story arcade with The Run. There is Underground, illegal street racing which i thought was all the others combined but then again are not all Criterion games like that, lol but with better crashes.

The concept of all the game types being put in one game is great but NFS series has done that (or even started like that?)( and i know i could  point to it and no i'm not going to Google it but you can or if you are a fan comment). Criterion sort of did their version of all the Burnout's in Paradise.

Throw in the DLC for Paradise, which had Cops and Robbers, Bikes (still no arcade bike game out there except Moto GP, Trials don't count, lol. Yes I would like a Road Rash game please or Speed Kings or Extreme G sometime in the future). Toy cars, which worked for Paradise's small roads on those Point to point races, and The Island, which was great except lacked online races? And it all worked with obvious restrictions being the lack of Mixed Bike and Car racing, (shame no drivable buses, taxi's or Tuk-Tuks), no choice of destination for the Cops and Robbers, etc but that was all restricted to how the game was made at the time.

But it all worked, and if it didn't, they fixed most of it. The social side with Criterion grew and with the birth of Auto log in NFS:HP it made the game change so people still could compete in a world where meeting your friends each night was not possible. Though i do still miss world leader boards, then again that was for lap times, crash scores and overall times and they don't exist in open world games which to most Burners is a shame, then again we are talking about NFS, but they had lapped races in the day too, right?

Hot Pursuit worked, 2 player open world, 8 player racing, chasing, working DLC and 'real car' dlc, meaning you wanna know what it's like to drive a 'real fast car' in an arcade game sort of sell pitch. I think sticking with Forza or GT Series for 'real cars' was the best idea but hey it goes fast I'll buy it anyway cause everyone else will have the edge pitch. Sorry this paragraph about cars does not make sense I just don't like car DLC much, unless it's different Like the Legendary Car pack on Paradise. Or something that was not in the game to start with. I prefer to earn my cars not buy them.

The Run, was a great game, except the button pressing to control a character, just make it like a fps control, everyone is used to it by now,(with a saveable lefty option please). Though it does have and it seemed to take a while to get fixed, bugs, like a whole corners disappearing as you drifted around it.

Now having one Company controlling the game series could be a good thing, standerdised (not a word right) controls and handling across the board, Dice built maps/locations (need some Asia back), and physics (crashing, takedowns,road holding etc) we greatly trust ( a bit off on Revenge and Paradise {car hit boxes and them being a bit fragile}) But worked pretty good on NFS:HP and The Run. (bloody perfect on Burnout 3 mind ;) or was it?)

Now having a 'Big Brand' like NFS, Criterion will bring racers to the Burnout brand, which covers Takedowns, Racing and Crashing to another audience, who only liked to mess with cops when they interfered with their illegal racing?

NFS:HP brought in the I can be a Cop or a Racer element but with weapons too, something that was talked about with Paradise before it came out, and idea that was taken up by the Peeps that made Blur, like a grown up Mario Kart. The Run brought in single player Weather elements and a 'story' and 'character' element.

I assume they could be taking on NFS:World as well, not that it caught my eye.

With NFS:Most Wanted being their First It is now ours Brand, Criterion can go a long way with DLC for this game, bringing in all the elements that NFS has, on a possibly ever growing open world space. Even if the map space was finite, game play DLC would work even better as people would be established within that world, knowing where to go with out looking at the rotating map etc, that game play type DLC would work really well.

And if there is a game editor that included lapped races, that worked with the DLC, Shift type racing, Road Rage Cops and Robbers, Crashing, Challenges, would keep the game going a long time. I do get tired of seeing a new NFS every year, as i do with COD, but one game and DLC for a year after that would give a good 2 or 3 year cycle, better pace with marketing, and releasing a game that has less bugs due to testing etc.

And since using 'real car' shapes has now become the norm for the NFS Series will this come to the Burnout Series?

Will we get DLC packs for Shift racing cars, Modable Race cars for Illegal racing, Strong Muscle cars for Road Raging, as well as Super cars that crash into Parts and fragments, without the cost of having to see it for real? Or a mix and match of all as it comes out.

Will there be a different types of speed use, NOS, Boost, we shall have to wait and see?

I don't think we will see the Burnout we know till Next gen or even a bit later, because  Online Crashbreakers in racing and tearing your car in half, with moving trains to jump through, may need just a bit more power, add to it some Split/Second and Ridge Racer Unbound environmental changing destruction, which was pegged to be in Revenge, and it should be worth the wait.

So it all starts with Need For Speed:Most Wanted, some calling it Burnout Paradise 2, which can be seen as a good thing. Paradise having been seen as a poor Burnout game compared to it's predecessors but it was a Fun Dicking with your mates open world racing game, that had lots going for It, when it was all released.

NFS:MW is bigger in scope, has 'Real Cars' to play with, has wider roads, a rotating map, a speedo and  has had a team of guys since pre 2001 making Burnout Games since Shiny Red Car, and a Game Engine that seems to change it's name every other month. It has all the NFS series to pull from and as well as any talent that worked on it to also pull from, what could go wrong.


Darn that was hard work for a comment and a mind that seems to scatter as is sees all the NFS hype that must have cost a fortune over the years when it would have been cheaper to to have given it to Criterion in the first place?





Patience is something I taught myself, so I never know when it's going to run out?

ZombieTron's picture

is that Criterion Games will probably do an NFS, the do a Burnout. alternating between the two would be good.

I am still hopeful that we will see another Burnout on the 360, especially as MS seem to be delaying jumping into the next gen.

I really hope this means Burnout will regain it's closed track heritage, as Criterion can explore developing open worlds for NFS games. IMO Burnout should not be open world! The first four games (five including Dominator, six including legends) have a very different feel from Paradise and Hot Pursuit. And with the look of Most Wanted being very Paradisey, I hope the feel of the later games from CG are given an NFS label, and that the Burnout label is reserved for games that feel like the earlier Burnout games.

Am I rambling yet?

Anyway, I see it as a positive step, and really good for Criterion Games.