Criterion absorbs Codemasters team for Need For Speed

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We already knew that Codemasters Cheshire studio, creators of DIRT 5, were helping Criterion Games on the next Need For Speed title.

A recent job posting let that slip to the public, but it seems EA is taking things one step further and fully integrating the Codemasters Cheshire development team into Criterion.

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This monumental step could see the upcoming Need For Speed 2022 game lift the franchise back toward its golden era of Most Wanted and Underground.

A merger of talents

In a Twitter thread, Codemasters explained that the development team in Cheshire will be integrated into Criterion, building off the close partnership they have developed recently.

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"This integration builds off the close partnership the two studios have developed over the past few months," an EA spokesperson told GamesIndustry.Biz.

"Sharing common values and similar cultures, we strongly believe unifying the huge wealth of experience across both teams will help us to deliver the best racing experiences we can for our players."

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LOVELY LEAK: This shot is reportedly a leak from NFS 2022
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LOVELY LEAK: This shot is reportedly a leak from NFS 2022

What this means for Need For Speed 2022

This move effectively doubles the footprint of Criterion, giving them more firepower to tackle the next instalment of Need For Speed.

This will be welcome news for all. The upcoming NFS game was originally delayed so that Criterion could help with Battlefield 2042. It seems they are getting some karmic reward for that!

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FEEL THE HEAT: NFS Heat was a strong title that Criterion will want to better
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FEEL THE HEAT: NFS Heat was a strong title that Criterion will want to better

The most recent NFS game, Heat, was a solid improvement on some of the most recent titles.

Players will be hoping the series, back in Criterion's hands fully for the first time since 2012, can return to the level it once reached. With the size of the team now working on it, expectations are high.

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When will Need For Speed 2022 arrive?

There is not an official release date for the upcoming Need For Speed. However, a recent EA financial report highlighted the release window.

Fans can expect NFS 2022 to arrive in the final few months of this year. We suspect it will be in November, before the Black Friday and Christmas rush as that is the traditional slot NFS falls into.

Either way, we can't wait to see what this new & improved Criterion can do!