Criterion approached EA with a game entitled Need for Speed: Split Second in 2002.
Speaking in this month’s issue of GamesTM magazine, Craig Sullivan, designer at Criterion, said the team was “talking to EA Canada about doing a Need For Speed game, so put together a pitch to do a stunt racing game called Need For Speed: Split Second.”
Things didn’t work out due to a dispute over a sequel to C64 classic Skate or Die, a secret game it had agreed to develop for EA.
“We called a meeting with the EA guys, told them we were walking away and they went mad, threatening to sue us, put us out of business… There was a lot of anger and frustration.
“Then we got a call from the Need For Speed guys and they said, ‘We can’t work with you guys any more; you just walked away and there’s a shame on your company, so we can’t talk to you.’
“I remember coming back to my desk and there was a folder on my desktop called EA and I just clicked delete. We learned a lot about how a game should be made.”
Thankfully all was forgiven and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was made, a game which we’ll all be playing come November.