'Need for Speed' going back to Criterion and picking up cross-platform multiplayer

Joel Stocksdale



Last year's "Need for Speed: Heat" will be the last of the series from developer Ghost Games. The developer produced three titles in the series including "Need for Speed (2015)," "Need for Speed: Payback" and the aforementioned "Heat." As for the next installment, it will be developed by Criterion Games.

Fans of racing games will most likely recognize Criterion for its beloved "Burnout" series, which has been on an indefinite hiatus since "Burnout Paradise" was launched for the previous generation of game consoles, and revived on current systems. But Criterion also has history with "Need for Speed," having developed the reboots of "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit" and "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" for the last generation of game systems. The company also worked in collaboration with Ghost Games on "Need for Speed: Rivals" and even developed the space combat sections of the most recent "Star Wars Battlefront II." Basically, the series will continue to be in good hands.

We're hoping to hear a bit more about the new Criterion-led "Need for Speed" at the EA Play Live announcement stream on June 18. But until then, there's a big new feature coming to "Need for Speed: Heat" tomorrow. The game will be getting cross-platform multiplayer, meaning that all players on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be able to play with each other; no longer restricted to other players on the same system. The update goes out tomorrow, and players can opt-in to cross-platform play or not. This will also be the very first EA video game to support cross-platform multiplayer. While it does seem a bit of an odd choice, especially as it will be the last update to the game, we suspect it's a solid test bed for the company, since the game is finished and has been out for a while, so it's stable and shouldn't have a server-crushing influx of players.

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