Criterion Games, the creators of the Burnout franchise and developers of last year's Need for Speed Most Wanted, now only hosts just 16 employees — the rest have been reformed into a studio called Ghost Games U.K., Criterion's Alexander Ward explained in a string of tweets today.
In August, an EA representative confirmed to Polygon that around 80 percent of the studio would be working on the series' next installment, Need for Speed Rivals, with EA's Gothenberg-based studio Ghost Games, while the rest of Criterion would focus on a new, unannounced project. Today on Twitter, Ward, who remains as Criterion's creative director, told a fan that only sixteen employees remain at Criterion, while everyone working on Rivals will be officially rechristened Ghost Games U.K..
"@AWiag:+60-65 people once development of Rivals is completed. Or have they become Ghost Games UK?" Yes they have.— Alex Ward (@AlexanderJWard) September 13, 2013
In August, Need for Speed Rivals producer Marcus Nilsson confirmed that Ghost Games would be in charge of the Need for Speed franchise from here on out.
"Ghost is now leading Need for Speed and there will certainly be some announcements about how that will evolve and work in the near future," Nilsson said. "Criterion is doing something else, but that doesn't mean they can't help us on this."
We've reached out to EA to find out exactly how Ghost Games and Ghost Games U.K. will work together on the franchise — whether they'll collaborate on each title, or develop every other title in the series separately.