‘Need For Speed’ and ‘Burnout’ developer Criterion Games is walking away from racers

need for speed most wanted wii u screenshot 5

Criterion Games has been in the business of making very beautiful digital cars go very fast in spectacular digital worlds for a long time now – over a decade in fact; from the original Burnout, which hit PlayStation 2 in 2001, to this year’s Wii U edition of the pristine open world racer Need For Speed: Most Wanted U. With the exception of the 2006 first-person shooter Black, this century Criterion’s only made video games about driving. No more according to creative director Alex Ward.

“After over a decade of making racing games it’s time to make something new,” said Ward on Twitter on Monday, “It is early days thus I have nothing to ‘announce’ or talk about.” 

“But if you are following me expecting some megaton of a new Burnout game, or a [Need for Speed] Underground remake then I have to disappoint you.”

 There have been multiple rumors to the contrary in 2013. There were hints in January that the studio would be making Burnout Paradise 2 in the future, but Ward later said that sequel was “highly unlikely.” EGM claimed on Thursday that it had received new logo art for a Need For Speed: Underground update, but Criterion squashed that rumor as well. Ward’s new comments confirm that the studio is – at least for now – walking away from the genre that made it famous.

It also won’t be making a shooter from the sound of things. “No Black 2 either, folks,” said Ward, “Volumes to tell on that topic, [I] will have to save that for when I get a book deal.”