Criterion’s Speedy Need For Speed Developments

There has been quite a movement in the realm of Need For Speed and its current creators and developers, Criterion. Initially, reports emerged indicating that Criterion is taking the Need For Speed franchise very seriously, to the extent that they are actively addressing issues. Just a day after these developments, reports began to surface suggesting that they are preparing to release a new update for their latest game, Need For Speed: Unbound‘s live servers.

First, let’s discuss what is Criterion doing to improve things for their new NFS title

It has been reported that Criterion is seeking suggestions and assistance from content creators. These include those who frequently speed run the game on their channels and social media platforms, as well as individuals who have been involved with the franchise for an extended period of time.

Apparently, the developers granted content creators complete freedom and opportunity to express their opinions regarding the issues within the franchise. However, due to the nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) signed by those in attendance, no official confirmation regarding the specifics of the discussions has been provided. Nevertheless, a Reddit post has surfaced, disclosing some broader details about the topics that were addressed.

  • —Content creators recommended aligning the game’s direction style with previous successful titles such as Most Wanted, Carbon, and Underground.
  • —Criticisms were raised about the Brake2Drift handling, with suggestions to shift focus towards a grip-based handling model.
  • —Emphasis was placed on enhancing the multiplayer aspect of the game, including features like leaderboards.
  • —Suggestions were made to improve the music selection and offer more in-depth customization options.
  • —Content creators and developers engaged in detailed discussions about every game in the franchise, potentially to extract positive elements for implementation in the new game. Spin-offs were also addressed, with discussions covering various game modes featured in those titles.


This direct approach likely follows some criticism faced by their latest title, Need For Speed: Unbound. Despite receiving decent ratings and reviews, IGN pointed out that the game deviated from the essence that core fans have come to expect from NFS games. This departure may be attributed to the cartoonish design and direction taken for the game. Hence, it’s understandable why content creators referenced old NFS titles for guidance on the direction of the new game.


Obviously, it is just an assumption, but the concerns likely arose after the game experienced a significant drop in player numbers, as indicated on Steam. Reviews highlighted an undeniable disconnect from the core NFS player base. Besides the decrease in current player numbers, it has been observed that the game may not have been adequately marketed, or it simply failed to capture enough attention. Need For Speed games are always expected to uphold their legacy of dominating the racing genre for decades.

Hopefully, the developers will genuinely consider all the criticism and suggestions, with the intent to address and improve upon them in their next NFS title, as promised. This approach of engaging with the core fans of the franchise is likely to yield positive results, hopefully resulting in a game that resonates more strongly with the NFS community.

Now, let’s move to the latest development, which seems to be connected to the things discussed in the previous development.

Need For Speed

Criterion has just announced a roadmap for future updates to the live service of Unbound, and it’s safe to say that all of this could just be connected!

The roadmap has been uploaded to a blog on EA’s official website. It outlines four major updates, referred to as ‘volumes’ which are set to be released several months apart from each other. The first from February to April, the second from May to July, the third from August to October, and the fourth from October to December).

Need For Speed


Each volume introduces a major mode for fans and gamers to enjoy. The first volume will feature the addition of the HEAD-TO-HEAD mode. In the second volume, players can expect to access the DRIFT AND DRAG mode. The third volume will introduce COPS VS RACERS. As for the fourth volume, it appears that Criterion has kept it as a surprise for the fans.

In addition to the modes, each volume will also include new fully customizable cars, challenges, free drive updates, and bug fixes.


The company also stated in the blog that they are trying these updates to test what works for the fans and what does not. They are calling this year “a year to test and learn and understand what works best for you” “and we will look to close the feedback loop by being as transparent as possible with you, letting you know what we have heard and what we can and cannot do.”. This correlates back to the action of sitting down with the content writers for suggestions and improvements.

Looking at both developments, it is for sure that they are taking matters seriously now and are looking to get the franchise to the heights it once was for a long time. It is a very positive sign not just for the company, but for the fans as well.

If you have read this far, then please drift around our corner EsportsNext to get all the latest news, updates, guides, and reviews from all over the gaming world.

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Abdullah Jan
Abdullah Jan
Abdullah is a die-hard PlayStation fan and believes in Red Dead Redemption II supremacy. He is a storyteller himself, so his love for story-driven and realistic games is a no-brainer. He gives his two-cents on everything, he's that generous!

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