Codemasters Cheshire is Integrating Into Criterion Games for Need for Speed Series

Criterion Games' footprint will thus double and encompass hubs in Guildford and Cheshire to work on the "future of the Need for Speed franchise."

Posted By | On 12th, May. 2022

Next Need for Speed

Electronic Arts has announced that Codemasters Cheshire, the former Evolution Studios, is being integrated into Criterion Games. This will result in the latter’s footprint being doubled and encompassing two hubs – the original Criterion team in Guildford and the Cheshire team. As GamesIndustry reports, both will report to vice president/general manager Matt Webster and work together on “the future of the Need For Speed franchise.”

Codemasters Cheshire was initially rumored to be working as a support studio on the next Need for Speed. This was followed by EA senior recruiter Pete Johnson posting on LinkedIn, seeking an experienced producer for the studio as it embarked on “an extraordinary journey to deliver the future of Need for Speed” with Criterion. The studios actually combining together is the real surprise though. No redundancies have been made and Codemasters Birmingham will continue working on Formula 1 titles (like the upcoming F1 22).

A spokesperson for Electronic Arts stated that, “This integration builds off the close partnership the two studios have developed over the past few months. Sharing common values and similar cultures, we strongly believe unifying the huge wealth of experience across both teams will help us to deliver the best racing experiences we can for our players.”

After the release of DriveClub and its closure, Evolution Studios would be initially acquired by Codemasters where it worked on OnRush. Codemasters was then subsequently acquired by Electronic Arts for $1.2 billion last year. The next Need for Speed doesn’t have a release date but according to journalist Jeff Grubb, it will reportedly have photo-realistic graphics with “anime elements.” It’s also apparently set in Lake Shore City, which is based on Chicago and made to feel like a “real city.”


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