UPDATE 23/06/2015 5.34pm: Criterion founder Alex Ward noted on Twitter that the Burnout studio was also offered the opportunity to work on the first Forza, Mad Max, a Vauxhall only racer, a Command & Conquer FPS and a Gone in 60 Seconds game.
18th January 2013
3rd May 2006
11th April 2005
Criterion is in a state. The once mighty Guildford studio has been hobbled by the transferral of the Need for Speed series to the Gothenburg-based Ghost Games, as well as the departure of its racing-focussed staff who formed Ghost UK and, more pertinently, the departure of two of its founding members, Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry.
The boss of Criterion Games has indicated the studio is moving away from racing games.
Whatever you may be expecting from the Wii U version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, we're willing to bet that Criterion is going to surprise you. The company hasn't shipped a game on Nintendo hardware since the enhanced conversion of Burnout 2: Point of Impact over a decade ago, and the studio has a point to prove.
UPDATE: Criterion has been in touch with Eurogamer to ask that we make it clear that it is the developer of Need for Speed: Most Wanted on Wii U.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Wii U version of Need for Speed Most Wanted releases in Europe on 21st March, EA has announced.
It launches in the US on 19th March.
The next entry in EA's annual Need for Speed franchise will be a sequel to 2005 game Need for Speed: Most Wanted, according to leak-prone South African retailer BTGames.
EA has earmarked another 18 online multiplayer servers to be shut down this year.
With Chart-Track's Annual Report now published and available for sale to publishers, Kristan prepares his own annual Statto impression and wades through the facts and figures to offer an interesting picture of UK retail. In part one, we look at the state of the market and the fate of the current generation of console platforms. (Data from Chart-Track's annual report. Used with permission.)
The backdrop of 2005 was one of doom and gloom, with independent retailers in particular feeling the squeeze as all the major high street firms went to war with each other. After years of tolerating online retailers undercutting them by over £10 on a full price title, the high street was seeing their market share steadily eroded and decided to strike back with full force.
Suddenly, with all the mainstream types forced to price-match, UK retailers were making next to nothing on the games they were selling, and putting pressure on publishers to reduce their selling price - something that many under-pressure publishers were extremely reluctant to do.
Aided by an improvement in retail supply for the Xbox 360 console, EA continues its unassailable dominance of the top of the sales chart as Need for Speed: Most Wanted claims its tenth week at number one.
Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Most Wanted is back in pole position in the UK sales ranking this week, displacing Dead or Alive 4 after just a week at the top to take its ninth week at number one.
Electronic Arts maintains its extraordinary lead over the competition this week, as 2005's Christmas number one seller, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, tracks the racing line and holds firmly onto first place.
Electronic Arts' Need for Speed: Most Wanted was the best-selling game in the UK again last week, racking up seven weeks at number one for the title and continuing its leadership for the second week of 2006.
Electronic Arts' Christmas number one, Need for Speed Most Wanted, is still in the top spot of the UK charts this week, racking up a sixth week at number one and selling twice as many units as its nearest competitor, Ubisoft's King Kong.
The latest UK sales figures reveal further changes in the chart position for EA and Ubisoft, as the coveted number one position is reclaimed by Need For Speed: Most Wanted.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted has held on to the number one spot in this week's UK charts, holding off a strong performance by Ubisoft's King Kong to take the coveted Christmas No.1 position for Electronic Arts for the third year in a row.
Industry powerhouse Electronic Arts plays the field once again, with a number of titles in the top ten. Multi-format street racer, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, races into first place; knocking Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire down two places to third.
To celebrate the launch of Need For Speed Most Wanted earlier this month, Electronic Arts held a very special event at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford.
EA Canada's Larry LaPierre has confirmed that the PSP version of Need for Speed: Most Wanted will feature an online mode - but that the PS2 version won't.
Electronic Arts has announced that Need for Speed Most Wanted is currently in development for PS2, Xbox, GameCube, Nintendo DS, GBA, PSP and PC.
The game combines "the thrill of illicit street racing and tuner customisation with the intensity of strategic police pursuits." You'll go head-to-head with other expert racers as well as up to six police vehicles at a time, and must build up your rap sheet and street cred to make it to the top of the "Black List" of top class drivers.
"Out-race your opponents, evade cops and exploit the open world - street racing doesn't get any better than this," said senior producer Larry LaPierre.