EA taps Burnout studio Criterion to work on ‘new era’ of Battlefield

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Things haven’t been going so well with the Battlefield franchise of late, so EA is bringing in some more help. The publisher says that starting today, “Criterion is added to our world-class Battlefield studios dedicated to ushering in a new era for the franchise.”

Criterion was first acquired by EA in 2004 and is best known for its work on racing games, starting with Burnout before shifting to EA’s Need for Speed franchise. But the publisher has also utilized Criterion on a number of non-racing projects, including Battlefield and the Star Wars Battlefront series.

Today’s news comes as part of a restructuring that began in 2021, not long after the rocky launch of Battlefield 2042, putting the franchise under the purview of Respawn boss Vince Zampella. “Criterion’s experience with Battlefield, our technology, and building engaging experiences will have an immediate positive impact as we continue to work on Battlefield 2042, and as we continue pre-production on a connected Battlefield Universe,” Zampella wrote in a blog announcing today’s news. “There is no better studio to join us on this journey and I couldn’t be more excited.”

But while the majority of the team will be focused on EA’s big shooter, Zampella says that a small group will work on “what’s next for Need for Speed,” which most recently saw the launch of the cel-shaded Need for Speed Unbound in 2022. “I’m really looking forward to working with a core group as we shape what’s next for the franchise,” Zampella says.

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