EA is reportedly shifting development responsibilities for the Need for Speed franchise from Ghost Games back to Criterion Games, with the former to be renamed "EA Gothenburg" and repurposed as an engineering support studio.
In a statement justifying its decision and discussing Ghost Games' Gothenburg HQ, EA claimed: "The breadth of talent we need to maintain a full AAA studio is just not available to us there."
Much of Ghost Games' team will be placed in positions with Criterion or elsewhere within EA. Despite this, as many as 30 employees at Ghost Games are at risk of losing their jobs entirely. EA will attempt to find roles for these 30 employees, but for now, their fates are up in the air.
Ghost Games led development for the last four Need for Speed games which, while not dreadful, failed to make any major impact on critics or audiences alike. Conversely, Criterion Games' two attempts (Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted) became franchise favourites, and their work on the Burnout franchise has made them a beloved name among videogame racing fans. Hopefully by returning development of the franchise to Criterion, EA can reignite the passion many had lost for the once great racing series.