The Developers Ghost Games who were behind very popular Need for Speed: Rivals, has been hit by layoffs in their UK office. The studio was working on an unannounced Need for Speed project according to the report at Polygon.
According to the report, EA let go of their contractors at the office and told the full time employees that they can either take the compensation and leave or continue working in the office to support work on Visceral’s rumored police-themed Battlefield title, code-named Havana. Sources say Havana is due out later this year.
Ghost Games is a division of Electronics Art Gothenburg and these layoffs follow Criterion Game downsizing which happened in September last year resulting in around 60 of its staff members working at Ghost Games. The downsizing at Criterion was described as voluntary move rather than a choice given by EA.
Founders of the Criterion Games Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry had left the studio few weeks back and are planning to open a new gaming studio for themselves.
This move by Electronics Art does come as a surprise given the reception Need for Speed: Rivals got from the critics. The game has overall score of 80 at Metacritic which is quite impressive.
Report also confirms that the Need for Speed franchise is secured under the control of Ghost Games in Gothenburg, it was confirmed by NFS: Rivals creative director Craig Sullivan.
However, there is still no official comment made by Electronics Arts on this matter.