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EA Gothenburg (also known as Ghost Games) is a video game developer based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

With the main studio of Ghost Games being based in Gothenburg, Sweden, two additional divisions of Ghost Games were set up in Guildford, England and Bucharest, Romania; Ghost Games UK and Ghost Games Romania.[1]


The studio was formed in 2011 by DICE and various former employees of DICE, Rockstar Games, SimBin Studios, Slightly Mad Studios and Turn 10 Studios.[2] Its initial inception was for creating "a new generation" of games using the Frostbite 2 engine, which had been used for Need for Speed: The Run and Battlefield 3.[3][4]

In 2012, Alex Ward revealed that he was working on two unannounced projects; one project code named "Hawaii" for Criterion Games' Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012), and a second at EA's Gothenburg studio, which would be revealed a year later to be Need for Speed: Rivals.[5]

After the release of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012), it was announced by Criterion that EA Gothenburh would be developing the next game in the Need for Speed series.[6] On November 15, 2012, EA Gothenburg was re-branded as Ghost Games.[7]

Need for Speed Lead

Need for Speed: Rivals was announced during Electronic Art's E3 2013 event, with Ghost Games being firmly shown as the developers of the game[8], and became the holders of the Need for Speed series in August 2013.[9]

Following the release of Need for Speed: Rivals, Criterion Games was reduced to 16 members of staff, with many former members of staff being relabelled at Ghost Games UK.[10][11]

In February 2014, it was revealed that all artist roles at Ghost Games UK had been let go from the studio, with programmers remaining to assist in the development of other projects such as Visceral Games' then unannounced Battlefield Hardline.[12] Alongside the layoffs, an unannounced game in the Need for Speed series had been placed on hold.[13]

Ghost Games also developed the series' reboot; Need for Speed (2015) in 2015, Need for Speed: Payback in 2017, and Need for Speed: Heat in 2019.

Return to EA Gothenburg

On February 12, 2020, it was announced by Electronic Arts that Criterion Games would lead the series again. As part of the announcement, Ghost Games would revert back to being EA Gothenburg and refocus itself as an engineering hub to support projects across Electronic Arts.

With the series returning to Criterion Games, those with roles at Ghost Games outside of engineering would be transferred to other positions within Electronic Arts, and Ghost Games Romania would be reabsorbed into other teams within the area.[14]

The cited reason for the series' return to Criterion Games was due to difficulty attracting talent to the Sweden based studio.

Ghost Games have helped to bring some great Need for Speed experiences to our players. Consistently delivering that at AAA levels means we need teams with diverse skills in locations where we can continually support them and bring in new team members to join. Despite our best efforts to establish an independent development group in Gothenburg over several years, it's become clear that the breadth of talent we need to maintain a full AAA studio is just not available to us there. Criterion can also provide the consistent leadership that we need to continue creating and delivering new Need for Speed experiences for a long time to come.
— Electronic Arts[15]

Credits (Electronic Arts)

Game Release Platforms
Need for Speed: Rivals Nov 15, 2013 360, PC, PS3, PS4, X1
Battlefield Hardline Mar 17, 2015 360, PC, PS3, PS4, X1
Need for Speed (2015) Nov 3, 2015 PC, PS4, X1
Mirror's Edge Catalyst June 7, 2016 PC, PS4, X1
Need for Speed: Payback Nov 10, 2017 PC, PS4, X1
Battlefield V Nov 9, 2018 PC, PS4, X1
Need for Speed: Heat Nov 8, 2019 PC, PS4, X1


  1. Article: (2015) Need For Speed developer Ghost Games expands into Bucharest Available at:
  2. Video: GameSpot (2013) The World-Class talent behind Need for Speed Rivals. Available at:
  3. Article: (2012) EA opens new Swedish studio to work with Battlefield 3 engine. Available at:
  4. Article: (2012) EA opens 'EA Gothenburg' studio focused on Frostbite 2 projects. Available at:
  5. Article: (2012) Burnout creator working with EA Gothenburg on secret next-gen project? Available at:
  6. Article: (2012) Criterion confirms EA Gothenburg is working on Need For Speed Available at:
  7. Article: (2012) EA's Gothenburg studio is now Ghost Games. Available at:
  8. Article: (2013) How Ghost Games hopes to put itself on the map with Need for Speed Rivals. Available at:
  9. Article: (2013) Need For Speed Rivals is a living game, and a sign of things to come Available at:
  10. Article: (2013) Criterion staff reduced to 16 people Available at:
  11. Article: (2013) Majority of Criterion staff now Ghost Games UK, core team down to 16 people Available at:
  12. Article: (2014) Layoffs at NFS: Rivals dev Ghost Games UK. Available at:
  13. Article: (2014) Layoffs hit Ghost Games' UK office, unannounced NFS title mothballed. Available at:
  14. Article: (2020) Need for Speed goes back to Criterion, ending Ghost Games. Available at:
  15. Article: (2020) EA will move Need for Speed development back to Criterion. Available at: