EA has merged Codemasters Cheshire and Criterion Games

The two will work on Need for Speed moving forward

American publisher EA has combined Codemasters Cheshire (originally known as Evolution Studios) with developer Criterion Games to focus on future instalments within the Need for Speed franchise.

The report comes from GamesIndustry.biz, which clarifies that Codemasters Birmingham will continue to work on the Formula 1 franchise, with no redundancies being made. Codemasters also confirmed the news on its Twitter page, with a series of posts that read; “We can confirm Criterion Games and the development team at Codemasters Cheshire are officially coming together to create the future of @NeedforSpeed, forming one Criterion studio with two location hubs.”

The posts continue to state, “This integration builds off the close partnership the two studios have developed over the past few months. Sharing common values and similar cultures, we strongly believe unifying the huge wealth of expertise across both teams will help us to deliver the best racing experiences we can for our players.”

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Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered. Credit: Electronic Arts (EA).

Codemasters was only acquired by EA last year for £983million and has a long history within the racing genre dating as far back as 1986’s BMX Simulator.

An EA spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz, “this integration builds off the close partnership the two studios have developed over the past few months. 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.”

While the Need for Speed franchise remains an iconic staple of the racing genre, recent entries such as Heat, Payback, and 2015’s title simply donning the Need for Speed moniker have all been met with a relatively lukewarm reception, indicating that a new approach from its publisher may be necessary for its continues relevance.

In other news, Apex Legends has grossed more than $2billion in revenue for EA.

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