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Report: Development on next Need for Speed frozen as layoffs hit Ghost Games UK

Posted on February 3, 2014 AT 11:33am

A round of sizable layoffs have hit Ghost Games UK, reportedly putting the future of the next Need for Speed game in jeopardy.

Both Eurogamer and Polygon heard from sources connected to the studio that a significant portion of the staff has been laid off. One report suggested that all artists had been let go, with programmers remaining to assist on other EA projects. The second suggested that employees had, more specifically, been offered a chance to assist on an upcoming police-themed Battlefield title in development at Visceral Games, codenamed “Havana.”

Despite the fact that the central Ghost Games studio in Gothenburg, Sweden, has apparently been unaffected, this recent shakeup has allegedly put development on the next entry in EA’s popular Need for Speed racing franchise on hold. Temporary or not, such a move might be a reaction to the performance of Ghost Games’ first Need for Speed title, Rivals, which is averaging slightly lower on Metacritic than 2012′s Criterion-developed Most Wanted and, according to third-party estimates, tracking considerably lower in sales as well.

So far, EA has only confirmed that layoffs have indeed occurred, telling Eurogamer that the company has entered into “a consultation period for some positions in our Ghost Games UK studio.”

Josh Harmon, Associate Editor
Josh Harmon picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn't looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @jorshy. Meet the rest of the crew.

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