Criterion has told that EA Gothenburg is indeed working on the Need For Speed franchise, after the studio's website suggested that it was hiring developers to work on the series earlier this month.

"They [EA Gothenburg] are doing other Need For Speed things," Criterion's senior producer Matt Webster told VideoGamer when asked how the new Swedish studio was involved with the series.

But what could those 'things' be? Are they developing next year's Need For Speed?

"Who knows?", Webster replied. "They don't tell me things like that."

Earlier this year, Criterion's vice president Alex Ward announced that the studio would be taking creative control of all future Need For Speed titles.

"Our stamp's going to be in everything you see in Need for Speed and Burnout going forward in the future," he said. "It's not going to be spread anymore across different companies. Different studios have had a crack at it - it's definitely a Criterion gig now."

Ward is also known to be working with EA Gothenburg.

Webster says that Criterion's 'stamp' will let the studio establish a "consistent direction" for Need For Speed.

"What we mean by [putting our stamp on future Need For Speed titles] is, we think this is the direction that it needs to go in, and so let's have a consistent direction," Webster adds.

Whether that means all future Need For Speed titles will be open-world arcade racers, though, is "up to interpretation".

"Our studio principles are fun, accessible video games that are very highly connected and centred around friends," Webster continues. "Whatever we make would be built around those principles. Perhaps ones we're setting here are, love the cars, have the fun, and be highly connected around Autolog.

"There's a whole heap of scope in there for people to be creative around but we think that this is the direction that it needs to go in. I suppose where we started with [Criterion's] track record, that's the voice people want to listen to."

Need For Speed: Most Wanted launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and PlayStation Vita on November 2.

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