Criterion leading Need for Speed series

EA's Need for Speed racing series has bounced around from developer to developer over the past few years, having previously been made chiefly by EA Black Box, but things are now stabilizing with Criterion leading the franchise. The creator of Burnout and maker of the upcoming Need for Speed Most Wanted won't specify exactly what its role is, but vice president Alex Ward has said the series is "definitely a Criterion gig now."

"Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future. It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies," Ward told Game Informer. "Different studios have had a crack at it--it's definitely a Criterion gig now."

Yes, that is a cheeky little Burnout tease there, but Ward wouldn't share any plans.

"Going forward now, with Most Wanted and what we'll do in the future [will have], shall we say, a strong Criterion involvement," he explained. "I'm personally involved in how the cars drive, how the game will play out, how connected they are, and what the features are."

The studio declined to clarify whether it'll be directly making every NFS game itself or not, so in all likelihood there'll still be multiple developers on the series, but under the watchful eye and gentle guidance of Criterion.

The new Most Wanted is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 30. Beyond that, and beyond Criterion's involvement, there's the slightly silly prospect of a Need for Speed movie coming from Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios.