Outside of releasing Burnout Crash to the dismay of gamers everywhere, developer Criterion Games have stayed extremely tight lipped about what the future holds for the studio. There’s no concern that EA will shutter Criterion, but the main issue has simply been what’s next for Criterion? Will Criterion immediately be the go-to studio for developing future Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit games or will Burnout receive a proper follow-up at some point? We still don’t have a firm grasp of what Criterion will be releasing unto gamers next, but some recent job postings do hint at a few things.
Criterion and EA may be coy about what will be next for the studio, but a recent job posting on EA’s website did reveal that Criterion is in such for a Cinematic Director. Tasked with laying out the cut scenes and giving them that movie like quality we all enjoy, the Cinematic Director is a relatively straightforward gig but it may be a hint that Criterion is going back to NFS: Hot Pursuit as their work on the first entry was highly cinematic. The ad for the Cinematic Director doesn’t give any hints as to what projects Criterion is working on, but it does seem like a Hot Pursuit follow-up would be a likely candidate since Criterion may not be tasked with creating any major new IPs for the time being.
One job posting that did slightly reveal what Criterion as a whole is doing was the Content Editor posting. A position that’s somewhat a jack of all trades in the design department, the Content Editor position did reveal that Criterion is currently or is at least planning to develop smaller games concurrently with some of their bigger projects. Burnout Crash was the first small game Criterion has done and it appears the studio will continue going that path for better or worse. What’s interesting is that the Content Editor position also included a preference for “genre agnosticism” which may possibly mean that some of Criterion’s small projects won’t be more arcade racers but instead something radically different.
A lot of gamers haven’t been wowed by Burnout Crash but Criterion still has what it takes to develop thrilling arcade action titles and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit proved that. Receiving another entry in the Hot Pursuit series should provide some solid racing thrills and possibly seeing Criterion branch out to other genres would be nice as well. It’s been some time since Criterion developed a title that wasn’t an arcade racer so possibly going spreading their wings a bit once more should be interesting to see, especially if it’s of the same quality as their FPS title Black and less like Burnout Crash.