Electronic Arts has made significant organizational moves in recent months, the latest of which involves shifting Criterion Games from EA Sports to its EA Entertainment division. This move emphasizes EA’s commitment to the Battlefield series, as declared by Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella, who presently heads the studios behind popular titles like Apex Legends, Star Wars, and Battlefield.
In a recent blog post by EA, Zampella announced, “As we’ve said before, we’re all-in on Battlefield.” He added that, “Criterion is added to our world-class Battlefield studios dedicated to ushering in a new era for the franchise.”
The move suggests that the future Battlefield games will witness a synergized effort from DICE, Ripple Effect, and Ridgeline, with Criterion’s deep-rooted experience in the gaming world promising to add considerable value.
Criterion’s repertoire with EA isn’t just limited to racing games. They’ve also contributed to significant titles such as DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront II and Battlefield V. The emphasis on Battlefield, however, does not imply that Criterion will be diverting its entire focus from the Need for Speed series.
Fans of the Need for Speed series have reason to stay optimistic. EA’s announcement from February 2020 revealed that development duties for Need for Speed were returned to Criterion, owing to restructuring plans for Ghost Games. Criterion’s recent release, Need for Speed Unbound from December 2022, testifies to their commitment to the series, even though its release was somewhat hampered by the studio’s support role for Battlefield 2042.
Zampella assured fans, “Work will also continue on what’s next for Need for Speed.” For those unaware of Zampella’s deep-seated passion for cars, he elucidated, “Many of you might be familiar with my history in games…But you might not know I have a passion for cars, which also makes Criterion a perfect match for me.“