EA says it is returning the Need for Speed franchise to Guildford-based Criterion Games. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, EA said that current developer Ghost Games was "vital to a number of ongoing projects."
Criterion is arguably best known as the developer of the Burnout series of racing games, but was also responsible for Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted. In 2013, the franchise moved to Ghost Games, based in Gothenburg, but EA says that it struggled to bring the talent it needs to Sweden. It may be that as the UK is home to fellow racing studios Playground Games and Codemasters, the company is hoping it will have more luck going forward.
Over the past few years, Criterion has provided additional work on a number of EA projects, including Star Wars Battlefront II and Battlefield V. It's currently unclear whether it'll continue in that capacity, at all, or whether it will be entirely dedicated to the racing franchise.