Criterion Games has had its staff numbers reduced to 17 people total working at the Guildford-based studio, as the majority of the studio has now moved over to Ghost Games, according to various tweets which surfaced overnight.
According to Criterion creative director Alex Ward he has “a small team now,” and that between 60 and 65 of his staff are now working with Ghost Games on Need for Speed: Rivals.
Ward said the remaining staff members will be working on projects other than racing games.
“We still exist. We chose not to continue making NFS games,” Ward tweeted. “I wouldn’t worry at all. NFS is in safe hands. And it’s all about making great games. It’s all positive.
“We’re still Criterion and that is what matters. We are backed by a huge and successful wider company, Electronic Arts. We’re in fine form actually.”
Ward went on to say Criterion is currently working in a project he was not at liberty to discuss at the moment.
Ghost Games took over the Need for Speed franchise earlier this year.
The franchise’s development had previously been shared by Black Box and Criterion, with Ghost Games studio head Marcus Nilsson stating that the franchise bouncing between studios and producing different game types wasn’t “consistent”.
Need for Speed: Rivals will release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 November 19, and will be a next-gen launch title.