Digital Foundry posted a video mash-up yesterday of Star Wars Battlefront versus Return of the Jedi, splicing together sections of Speeder Bike footage from both game and film such that it was hard to tell the difference.
That video prompted an unexpected revelation from Burnout and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit developer Criterion Games: that it helped make those Speeder Bikes.
Which development team could possibly have the expertise to put such speed into the Battlefront speeder bikes..? ;-) https://t.co/biWJ57tIVo— Criterion Games (@CriterionGames) November 27, 2015
I had a look in Star Wars Battlefront's credits to see if Criterion Games was mentioned and, as the cruddy picture in this article attests (I don't get on with Xbox One image sharing so I used my phone), the studio did indeed contribute.
It's not unusual that another EA studio should contribute to one of EA's biggest ever releases, of course, but it was news to us. Visceral Games, developer of Battlefield Hardline as well as an upcoming story-led Star Wars action game, was also mentioned in the Battlefront credits.
Criterion is a British studio renowned for the Burnout series of racing games, and for reviving Need for Speed with Hot Pursuit in 2010. But there's been a deal of turbulence at the studio in recent years, involving an exodus of staff to EA's Ghost Games to help make Need for Speed: Rivals, then the departure of the studio's two founders, Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry.
But Criterion is still going, and last summer it announced a brand new IP: a multi-vehicle open-world racing game. Our Martin Robinson talked to Criterion's Matt Webster at the time, about all that was going on, and Webster said there was still a rich vein of both veteran talent at the studio as well as a necessary intake of 'the new'.