New ‘Need For Speed’ Delayed as Ghost Games Undergoes Layoffs

Published 9 months ago by , Updated February 3rd, 2014 at 9:04 pm,

Need For Speed Delayed

After taking the mantle on the Need For Speed series, Ghost Games – formerly called EA Gothenburg – is facing a round of layoffs which put all of its future projects in development purgatory. Multiple sources have indicated that all contractors at the studio have been terminated, with the remaining staff offered compensation packages or having their work routed to different studios. For fans waiting on news of a new Need For Speed title, this news means they’ll have a hefty wait on their hands and no definite answer on what this means for the franchise.

Ghost Games took over the Need For Speed title from Criterion Games earlier last year. Criterion had most of their staff working with Ghost Games on Need for SpeedRivals before most of the Criterion staff made an official switch to the newly formed Ghost Games studio, leaving only about 20 employees at Criterion.

Ghost went on to complete Rivals, which ended up being a very enjoyable game (read our review here). Last year, Need For Speed: Rivals executive producer Marcus Nilsson confirmed that Ghost Games had taken the Need For Speed torch from Criterion Games and would be handling future additions to the series.

Ghost Games Layoffs
Pictured: A rainy day for Need For Speed.

This string of layoffs comes mere months after Criterion Games founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry announced they were leaving the company. According to Polygon, it seems like none of the staff have jumped back to Criterion Games, who are now focusing on something else entirely – with Need For Speed and its development problems strictly in their rear-view.

Prior to these layoffs, there was no strong indication that the studio was facing any issues. Electronic Arts released an official statement saying the company has ‘entered a consultation period for some positions in our Ghost Games U.K. studio’, which is a fancy way of lightly admitting the studio is in deep trouble.

The Need For Speed Movie is, of course, unaffected by the tribulations of the gaming studio. The film, starring Aaron Paul, is slated for a March 2014 release and may be the last Need For Speed item seen for some time.

What do you think, Ranters? Are you worried about Ghost Games’ ability to finish a new Need For Speed title? Would you rather see a new Burnout title instead?

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Follow John Jacques on Twitter @Makelevi.

Source: Polygon

TAGS: Criterion Games, Electronic Arts, Ghost Games, Need for Speed, PC, PS4, Xbox One

8 Comments

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  1. Burnout was nice, but not mixed with Need For Speed & Need For Speed needs to come up with some other story line. My fav Need For Speed game is The Run. It has the best arcade driving experience that got my heart pumping with excitement instead of my heart pumping cause I couldn’t drive worth a damn. So Need For Speed The Run part 2 from Wa to Fl would be my pick. It’s too bad that real car manufacturers don’t let video game developers make extensive car destruction physics. The only Games I’m looking forward to is Drive Club, The Crew, Watch Dogs & Mad Max

  2. Nfs doesn’t need story line it needs replayability ladders competition between players etc. story line is meh I switch off when the cutscenes come no interest in it

    • what do you think makes a game able to be replayed. its called a great solo career (story line) coupled with good online play with a leaderboard, no glitches, and good driving physics. lets face it need for speed has not had good driving physics since the run. this stupid drifting racing needs to stop, save that for burnout. that was the main reason why burnout could not get manufactures to support the games. good driving physics is exactly why gran turismo has manufactures asking the game to include them. makes a little more sense now doesn’t it. need for speed should go back to the glory days when you could truly make a car your own (the undergrounds), hard game play where any car could be awesome and cars the common person could relate to (the original most wanted), and solid driving physics (the run). it would also be nice to have a wide open map. i don’t feel need for speed has had a big enough map yet so i would like to say a map like gran thieft auto 5. i think it would be cool to have a modding area where they have real life mods where the people who really know anything about cars could further costomize the car to run better. not just tuning but even as far as creating compound charge systems and what not. that would truly make every car able to have thousands of different combinations. for the people who don’t know that much, that same area should have unlockable setups. some people may be good racers but not know that much about modding. that way they can still compete. probably might not win but still compete. it should have everything available (except for the unlockable setups which you should prove you earned) from the get go. everything should run on money and the better upgrade cost more money like in gran turismo. i have much more to be said but quite frankly i think i made my point in making it clear that the creators of burnout should have never touched the need for speed series. i feel they just crated a burnout game and slapped the nfs brand on it. which i feel was a disgrace to the nfs name.

    • Every game needs beginning end ending. Endless playing is for “no lifers”….like WOW, Line Age etc.
      You can play it like forever….where is satisfaction in that?
      Ego-pumping games! Like Rivals, Hot Pursuit “3″…

      “I’m better than some dum*as* whos driving Mazda and I’m driving Porsche GT”!
      Just how stupid is that???

      IMHO:
      Nice cars, fast cars…bad boys, good guys and hot girls.
      And hell yeah!
      AWESOME DRIFT and DRAG!

      There is no need for Underground 3 or something like that….just give us speed from beginning to the end. AND LOTS OF COPS! ;)

  3. if ghost games cant make a decent N4S then they should hand the series back to Blackbox studio with frostbye engine im very sure they can make UNDERGROUND 3 as UNG 1 and HOTPURSUIT 3 as HOTPURSUIT 2 without the freakin autolog and alldrive crap.

  4. WHAT THE hell MARCUS NEILSSON and Alex ward THINKING WHEN THEY THOUGHT OF ALLDRIVE??? AUTOLOG?? was They on LSD, smoking pot?? how hard is it to make N4S as what we gamers want?? simple back to basic root of nfs from ps2 era.

  5. Also for the love of GOD no more freakin OPEN WORLD racing back to close circuit,sprint,close track racing or tacks in hotpursuit 2 or like HIGH STAKES

  6. Look all but one of the postings is good. Sorry racers but need for speed became a hit when the run was made that game may not have the upgrades and stuff but it is a fun game in story mode and online. Plus at the end of story mode they left it to where jack was running from the cops again so they can come up with something off of that i am sure. Now i have all the NFS games anf they are all good but the run is the best by far hands down. I agree there should be the run 2 all of the other titles have at least 2 games why not the run? also leave the need for speed franchise on the PS3 for god sakes not everybody is going for the new platforms like ps4 because they suck plain and simple. But if you have to make it for both PS3 and ps4. Believe it or not i have been racing the run now for 4 years and have seen alot of people joining in on the fun and lots of people talking about returning back to the run after playing rivals. Because with the autolog and the challenge series on the run its more fun to challenge and get challenged by your friends plus you get medals which is cool. I think if you the run 2 with alot more challenge options and online options you will have a hit. You might want to think about letting mad dog and black box do the run 2 they know what there doing and also know how to make a real good game. So if your realy listening to the fans look around all of the web and you will see the run 2 is the choice most of all of the fans are asking for. I am a need for speed fan and have a team on the game and everything. Please dont let the run die with just one game we need the run 2 ,3,4,5 you get what i am saying

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