Amongst many gaming fans, no series has ever done arcade-style racing at the level of Burnout. Across five core entries and a couple spinoffs, the franchise delivered intense driving, crashing, and fun, with each game raising the stakes further.
The series eventually ended up under the EA banner, where it enjoyed its greatest successes: Burnout 3: Takedown, Burnout Revenge, and the open-world Burnout Paradise. But after that fantastic 2008 entry, the publisher put developer Criterion Games on the Need for Speed franchise (with expectedly great results), and Burnout went mostly dormant.
Last year, Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry left the studio and brought a team of top staff with them to form Three Fields Entertainment. And it's there that they'll revive Burnout in spirit, rather than name, as the company this week revealed that it's working on an arcade racer in the vein of the classic series.
Three Fields's official Twitter account says the team is first making a "multiplayer sports game" due out next spring, and then the team will focus on a driving game. "What sort of driving game you ask? A spiritual successor," reads another tweet. "Speed. Traffic. And Crashing. Lots and lots of crashing. #ShinyRedSomething"
"Shiny Red Car" was an early codename for the first Burnout, as some fans may know. But it sounds like the team will take inspiration from one of the middle games, according to yet another tweet: "Spiritual successor to which one though??? The second, the third or the fourth one?? #decisions"
There's no timetable on when such a game will be available, although given that the small team likely won't start on it until next spring at the earliest, we'd say it'll be at least a good couple of years before the title really takes shape. But with EA showing no interest in reviving Burnout of late, the timing may be right to bring back its energy and spirit under a new banner. We can't wait.