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Riccitiello confirms Criterion NFS game

And his mate has seen Battlefield 3.

Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has said that Criterion is working on a "revolutionary take on Need for Speed", while EA COO John Pleasants has confirmed DICE is working on Battlefield 3.

Riccitiello had been clarifying that Burnout and Need for Speed wouldn't merge when he told Kotaku, "We don't have a plan right now for a separate major launch on Burnout, because the team doing it is working on a revolutionary take on Need for Speed."

Meanwhile, EA COO John Pleasants, speaking at an investor conference, said, "I've had the luxury of looking at Battlefield 3 over at DICE in Sweden... Of course, that's not in the [current] fiscal year, but that is a product that is looking very good."

BF3 was perhaps inevitable, while confirmation of Criterion's Need for Speed validates all those rumours from the back end of 2008. Riccitiello also paid tribute to Criterion's Alex Ward. He's "one of the people in the industry I would analogise to the great filmmakers," Riccitiello said.

"He is a true creative visionary. We had a great fight about what the next Need For Speed would be like. Of course, he gets to win because it's his call. It's not that I'm without an opinion on it."

In the meantime, the studio's commendable support for the excellent Burnout Paradise continues with today's release of Big Surf Island.

There's no word on how far out Criterion's NFS game is, but we have Slightly Mad Studios' Need for Speed: Shift to look forward to on 18th September first, and the Wii/DS Need for Speed: Nitro, while there's also no word on the fate of Black Box's own secret NFS game.

Is there anyone left at EA not working on Need for Speed? We should be told.