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Need for Speed Unbound Studio Veterans Depart to “Explore New Opportunities”

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Criterion Games has seen some high-profile departures following release Need Speed ​​Unbound. As reported by Games industryVP and general manager Matt Webster out after over 23 years at Electronic Arts.

Executive producer Pete Lake, technical director Andrei Shires, head of studio development Alan McDairman, and head of content Steve Uphill have also left, each spending ten years or more with EA. The reason for their departure was to “explore new opportunities outside” the publisher. There is no word on whether the small response to Not boundthat there was a 64 per cent drop in physical sales in the UK launch week compared to Speed ​​Heat Neededwas the reason.

Charitable Joy of EA Sports UFC franchise fame has joined Criterion as Need for Speed executive producer and Geoff Smith, who worked on DiRT a GRID for Codemasters, he is now senior director of product development. Smith is still overseeing the next WRC game, which launches in Spring 2023. The studio’s head of operations Steve Cuss will continue in his role, working with Joy and Smith.

EA racing group GM David Rutter told staff, “It’s been a year since the talented teams at Codemasters and Criterion officially came together as one unified force, driving the future of racing entertainment. This is an extremely exciting time for our group following a recent launch Need Speed ​​Unbound(which is hailed as ushering in a new era for the franchise), a successful release EA F1 SPORTS 22 earlier this year, as well as significant progress on development WRC.

“As we look forward, we know there is a strong opportunity to develop our games and experiences and deliver them to an even wider audience of fans – with our long-term strategy focusing on our strengths in licensed motorsport in as well as arcade/open world. racing

“Building on the progress made so far this year, with two launches and even more planned for the next, we are confident that we have the best people, working on the best games, and that we will achieve great things in 2023.”

Need Speed ​​Unbound out on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC. It is expected to receive updates after launch, with the first expanding on the social play features. Additional details are coming by the end of January 2023, so stay tuned.

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