Ghost Games Hit With Lay-Offs, Need For Speed 2014 Put On Hold

It looks as if the future of Need for Speed might be in jeopardy. After years of the franchise failing to meet expectations, Criterion Games finally managed to turn things around in 2010 with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Last year, they handed the franchise over to Ghost Games, which developed the fantastic Need for Speed: Rivals. Unfortunately, the existence of the anticipated sequel has recently been called into question.

Polygon confirmed that EA had let go of their contractors, telling full-time employees that they could simply take their compensation and leave, or continue to work on supporting another project. What other project, you ask? Apparently, its a police-themed Battlefield game currently being developed by Visceral Games that is set to release this year. This contradicts previous reports stating that Criterion Games was working on a 2014 Battlefield game.

At this point in time the future of the Need for Speed franchise is unclear. It looks like EA is focusing on their competition with Activision and Call of Duty with yearly Battlefield titles, possibly stunting development elsewhere. Sources have also informed Polygon that the reins for Need for Speed have been transferred to Ghost Games’ Gothenburg studio — another worrying factor.

Responding to the rumors, an EA spokesperson stated that the company has, “entered a consultation period for some positions in our Ghost Games U.K. studio.” We’ve reached out to EA for confirmation and will update the story accordingly.