Need For Speed Most Wanted Features

FeatureWhat's going on at Criterion?

Matt Webster on the possibility of paid alphas, its new prototype and, of course, Burnout.

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.

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.

2005 UK Sales Review

Feature2005 UK Sales Review

Part One: How current-gen consoles did in 2005.

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.

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FeatureUK Charts: Ten weeks at the top for EA

NFS: MW refuses to relinquish the lead.

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.

FeatureUK Charts: EA races back to the top

EA's racer rivals its predecessor with nine weeks 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.

FeatureUK Charts: EA holds pole position

Eight weeks at the top for Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

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.

FeatureUK Charts: EA's seventh week on top

EA's Christmas No. 1 leads for the second week of 2006.

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.

FeatureUK Charts: Need For Speed still out in front

EA clocks a sixth week at number one with Need For Speed Most Wanted.

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.

FeatureUK Charts: Another Christmas No.1 for EA

Need For Speed races out front.

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.

FeatureUK Charts: Need for Speed races into first

Publishers brace themselves for the final stretch in the race for a Christmas No.1

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.