Last year at E3, Criterion Games showed off a new IP in the early creative stages. Promising to move “beyond cars” with this title, footage was shown of a variety of vehicles from snowmobiles to helicopters. Just last month I predicted that EA would give this project a full reveal during their E3 press conference. After a no show at E3, we learned today that this project has unfortunately been cancelled.
Speaking to GameSpot, a representative for EA commented that “while [Criterion has] moved on from the previous project they’ve spoken about and aren’t pursuing it, they are continuing to build new ideas and experiment with new IP for EA, in addition to continuing to collaborate with other EA studios.” One such collaboration has been with DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront. Criterion was enlisted to help with the game’s speeder bikes and is also offering their expertise to the Battlefront VR experience coming to PlayStation VR later this year.
This is another unfortunate step back for the renowned developer of Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012). After the release of Most Wanted, a significant portion of Criterion’s staff was split out to form Ghost Games and serve as the new developer of the Need for Speed franchise. Meanwhile, Criterion retained just 17 staff members before losing the studio co-founders in 2014.
While things aren’t looking great for the studio’s relationship with EA outside of a few strategic collaborations, it will be interesting to see if Criterion is able to bounce back with a new project…perhaps one of the “new IP” that EA mentioned to GameSpot.