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EA combines two studios to make new Need for Speed games

Criterion Games and Codemasters Cheshire are now both under the Criterion banner

Need for Speed Heat artwork with a yellow sports car facing off against a Corvette police car at night on rainy streets

Ghost Games/Electronic Arts
Matt Leone has written about games for three decades, focusing on behind-the-scenes coverage of the industry, including books on Final Fantasy 7 and Street Fighter 2.

Electronic Arts has merged Codemasters’ Cheshire studio with Criterion Games to create a larger team to work on the future of the Need for Speed series, revealed Thursday.

This follows EA’s 2021 acquisition of Codemasters, though it’s only the Cheshire studio that’s merging with Criterion. Codemasters maintains multiple other offices that will continue to work on games like the upcoming F1 22.

The Cheshire studio came about after Sony shut down Evolution Studios in early 2016. Codemasters hired the team, which had developed the MotorStorm series and DriveClub, and turned it into Codemasters Cheshire. In 2020, the Cheshire team released Dirt 5, which many critics said felt like a modern version of MotorStorm, and cited as one of the best games to show off the then-new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hardware.

According to the Codemasters Twitter account, the studio merger will not mean that the two studios are combining offices, but that they will work together in separate locations.

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