Criterion Games, the UK-based developer behind Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and the Burnout series, is looking for staff for a new project - or possibly new projects.

A post on the Criterion Blog reveals that the studio has several positions open.

"Our current ambition requires an innovative programmer to deliver killer entertainment experiences with believable, open world AI Racing Drivers," says the AI Programmer overview.

Burnout Paradise took the series in a new direction by making it open world. Could the next game in the Burnout series be heading down a similar route? Or could this be for a new Need for Speed title? EA Black Box is wrapping up development on Need For Speed: The Run, after all.

The overview for lead software engineer asks for somebody "to help create a new extension to the existing Criterion team focusing on developing on new platforms."

New platforms? This could refer to next-gen consoles, but it's more likely that this will be for handhelds such as the PS Vita and 3DS. This isn't to say the studio won't have numerous projects on the go at once, of course.

Criterion is currently gearing up to launch Burnout CRASH!, a top down arcade game due to hit XBLA and PSN later in the month. You can read my preview of the game here.