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Criterion to take full control of Need for Speed and Burnout franchises

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"Something big will happen soon" Alex Ward, Criterion vice-president

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Criterion will take the reigns of the Need for Speed franchise from now on.

Criterion will now take full control of both Need for Speed and Burnout franchises, following a period in which development alternated between EA's Guildford, UK-based studio and internal EA studios.

"Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future," Criterion vice-president Alex Ward said in an interview with Game Informer.

"It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it — it's definitely a Criterion gig now.

"Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we'll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement.

"I'm personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are and what the features are."

Last year Need for Speed: The Run, developed by EA Black Box, failed to impress both critically and commercially.

Now with Criterion in control of which Need for Speed titles will release, Ward says "it would be amazing in the future if there was one big game" that combined all the series sub-brands, including Shift, Most Wanted, Underground and Hot Pursuit.

"I think something big will have to happen soon to enable us to do some of the things we want to do."

Need for Speed: Most Wanted is scheduled to release October 30 in North America, on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Xbox 360.