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Criterion to Stop Making Racing Games


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So Criterion head Alex Ward has been on Twitter and he said this:

Here is what I want folks to know. Some folks are eternally disappointed. Nothing I can do about that. So many tweets asking for new Burnout.

Equally many tweets asking for a new NFS game from us. Also Road Rash. Whilst I love all of those games, I am personally not doing any.
As a diehard NES gamer in the late '80s UK I was misled by many gaming mags hinting at games to be released.
Most games did not get a PAL release. Most of the hot stuff was JPN and USA only. Hence I hate to mislead ANYONE.
No point saving up hard earned money for your fave game not to come. Trust me, I have been there."
After over a decade of making racing games it's time to make something new. It is early days thus I have nothing to "announce" or talk about.
I will do my best to keep folks in the loop who want to follow what we play or what inspires us. Or what we might be listening to.
But if you are following me expecting some Megaton of a new Burnout game, or an Underground remake then I have to disappoint you.
I am proud of all of the Burnout games. When it feels right we will make another one. We are creative people.
So I hope you will join us on a new journey. Hope it makes sense. #Butit'syourkidsMarty! #PromiseMeWe'llBeBackInTime.
No Black2 either folks. Volumes to tell on that topic, but will save that for when I get a book deal...
Thanks for the support everybody. We won't let you down! #tothefuture."

So, no Burnout or Burnout-alikes for the forseeable future! I'm pretty disappointed, they're pretty much the only racing games I really enjoy these days, and I would have loved to see one on the new systems.

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Sounds more like 'not doing a racing game next' (also stated that they'd return to Burnout "when it feels right").

EDIT: Reading some other sources, sounds like Ward is saying that he no longer wants to work on any racing games (maybe).

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He says he’s not “personally doing any” racing games which is odd phrasing, although given how senior he is at Criterion it’s probably synonymous with the studio not doing any more. I’m in two minds about this, as Hot Pursuit is one of my favourite games ever and I’d love to see a sequel, and the idea of Criterion doing a Road Rash game has me frothing at the glans; at the same time, Most Wanted was very disappointing (albeit only in the context of coming after Hot Pursuit).

Be interesting to see where they go with this, although it’ll probably be some very disappointing third person shooter that will die on its arse.

Ward’s probably been completely jaded by having to release a game with a frame rate as wonky as Most Wanted’s, which given his previous laser-intense focus on 60fps was probably literally done at gunpoint.

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How did we run Alex Ward off the Edge forum again? Were we being too demanding asking for release dates for GC Burnout or something?

Look at him now! Imagine what the rest of you could have achieved if you'd stopped wasting your time on here.

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One thing I don't get.

I've played several versions of Road Rash, since the original...
I'm also very into motorcycles...


But I don't get the love for it. It was always fun for a minute, but to win the races, the best technique was to avoid fighting, which was the thing that made it different?

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Becuase its a genre thats untapped. It has so much potential if done right. Decent sim-like physics and crash inertia, that kind of thing.

Anyway slightly Mad are doing one and theres another on kickstarter from the/one of the orignal devs.

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I approve of this move. Possibly one game too late though. Most Wanted wasn't bad but felt like contractual obligation. Therefore the idea of another racer from Criterion wasn't all that appealing. This is much more exciting.

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Racing games are also not the money makers they once were. But it's been years since burnout paradise and I'd love another even if it just got the community back on it. Or even a greatest hits HD burnouts would be great.

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I approve of this move. Possibly one game too late though. Most Wanted wasn't bad but felt like contractual obligation. Therefore the idea of another racer from Criterion wasn't all that appealing. This is much more exciting.

Totally agree. If this news was announced after the release of Hot Pursuit I'd have been distraught.. After Most Wanted though, not so much.

Certainly curious to see what comes next.

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Racing games are also not the money makers they once were. But it's been years since burnout paradise and I'd love another even if it just got the community back on it. Or even a greatest hits HD burnouts would be great.

Yeah but that won't stop EA trying. So why the split?

Unless they're bored or EA did to them what they did to Slightly mad and wanted/had masses of control.

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Funnily enough I've been playing through Burnout 2 again recently for the first time since it came out. Still absolutely one of the best racing games ever made.



How did we run Alex Ward off the Edge forum again? Were we being too demanding asking for release dates for GC Burnout or something?

Look at him now! Imagine what the rest of you could have achieved if you'd stopped wasting your time on here.

Yeah, I think he had a moment of clarity where he realised he was on an internet forum, and made his escape.

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Criterion's still involved with Need for Speed development anyway, overseeing every new installment, so no worries there. I trust EA Ghost (comprised of somewhat of an all-star team of racing game developers) will do fine this year :)

As for Criterion - they'll probably make something entirely new for the next-gen consoles. Craig Sullivan hinted at that when I spoke to him a while ago.

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Funnily enough I've been playing through Burnout 2 again recently for the first time since it came out. Still absolutely one of the best racing games ever made.

Yeah, I think he had a moment of clarity where he realised he was on an internet forum, and made his escape.

Funnily enough I've been playing through Burnout 2 again recently for the first time since it came out. Still absolutely one of the best racing games ever made.

Burnout 2 was absolutely amazing. Still great fun to this day. Although it's too forgiving compared with Burnout. Even a slight touch in Burnout meant a crash. Brutal. But fun.
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Burnout 2 was absolutely amazing. Still great fun to this day. Although it's too forgiving compared with Burnout. Even a slight touch in Burnout meant a crash. Brutal. But fun.

Yep chain boosting along Big Surf Shores with custom soundtracks blaring still holds up to this day as being the pinnacle of arcade racing!

Shame future games never quite managed to recreate that feeling. Although HP came close at times.

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I've never negged you, you bastard.

Getting me all angry and shiz...

:)

And my point stands. Its the most criminally underdone genre in existence if you give it some thought.

Whats worse is i think it could be my best never made racing game ever. And you've wrecked it!

I think basically they're mad for not doing another game based on that instead.

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No they hadn't. Their redux of NFS Hot Pursuit was superb. It brought home was NFS was all about.

Not that urban grey mess that was Most wanted though. But i highly doubt it was their decision to make that.

What they should have done was made a redux of NFS2.

Taken it into the main racing areas of the world like that did. Main racing areas of the world like Greece. And Norway. And the outback of Austraila. Infamous for its historical racing 125 Heures du le Outback of Australia.

But sadly they didn't go down that road.

Seriously though i'd have rebought the whole catalog from NFS 2 to at least Porsche if they'd done that.

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I must be the only person here who enjoyed Burnout Dominator. Granted it was a second-unit Criterion game, but it had the great sense of speed of Burnout 3 combined with the boost-chaining and epic drifting of Burnout 2. Good variety of events too. Get it on XBL/PSN!

Personally I didn't enjoy Most Wanted. It just didn't have the fun factor and pure arcade bliss of Criterion's earlier stuff, felt like a contractual obligation. So if they're giving it a rest it can only be a good thing.

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He says no Black 2 either. A good thing IMO, I thought the original Black was a soulless bore of a game.

Yep. One good level, and then the rest were bullshit, from what I recall.

Also, I'm glad they're not doing racing games anymore - they totally need a break after releasing absolute SHIT like Paradise (no jokes - I hate it with a passion).

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To be fair it was a fairly sensible decision. Burnout on nextgen, so only fitting to do it in open world on a system that could do that some justice. I did tire of it though.

Sometimes games seem better when they're linear rather then having the whole world open to you at once.

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