Burnout series developer Criterion Games has been reduced to a headcount of 16 people, creative director Alex Ward revealed on Twitter today. Most of the studio's former 60-65 staff have formed a new label called Ghost Games UK within Criterion to work on Need for Speed: Rivals, Ward said. Ghost Games proper in Gothenburg, Sweden is leading development on that game.
Through a number of tweets today (via Videogamer), Ward said Criterion Games is now a "small team." Criterion Games, based in Guildford, UK, have no announced projects, and shipped Need for Speed: Most Wanted last year.
Asked on Twitter if Criterion Games now feels vulnerable, Ward said, "Not at all. We are backed by a huge and successful wider company, Electronic Arts."
In April, Ward revealed that Criterion Games would be moving away from racing games, saying "after over a decade of making racing games, it's time to make something new."