Criterion Now in Complete Control of the Need for Speed Franchise

The Need for Speed series won’t be passed around like a two-bit floozy anymore.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


In recent years, the Need for Speed franchise has been passed around between multiple developers. In 2010, Criterion developed Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit; in 2011, Slightly Mad Studios created Need for Speed: Shift 2: Unleashed while EA Black Box developed Need for Speed: The Run. Now we’re in 2012 and the Need for Speed license is back in the hands of Criterion for Need for Speed: Most Wanted. But from here on out, the license will stay in Criterion’s hands; they are now the sole developer on the franchise.

"Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future," said Criterion vice president Alex Ward. "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."

While speaking with Game Informer, Ward also alluded to the possibility of making one Need for Speed game that encompasses all the different play styles of the franchise’s recent efforts – be it Shift, Hot Pursuit, Most Wanted and Underground, for example.

"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,” admitted Ward.

With Criterion behind the wheel of the Need for Speed brand from now on, hopefully that means all future titles will live up to the quality standard set by Hot Pursuit. Because let’s be honest, we need more of that and less of The Run