Though it's been 16 years since a genuinely new Burnout game graced consoles, it never felt like the series could be gone for good. If you played it back then, you'd know: it was too captivating, too popular, and too innovative to stay dead. That's why a teaser from Stellar Entertainment, a studio started by ex-Criterion Games personnel with plenty of racing game experience, caught my eye this week. It's too early to say whether Stellar's next project is definitively Burnout, but the clues are there.
If nothing else, here's what we know for certain: Stellar is developing a "new AAA arcade racing title" (music to my ears), with goals of "disrupting the racing scene" that will be "built in Unreal [Engine] 5 for Gen 5 consoles and PC," per its website. Beyond that, a couple days ago the team's X account shared this:
#StellarWithoutContext: Our way of giving you (kinda weird ) insider intel about what we're working on, without actually telling you what we're working on...— StellarEntertainment (@StellarEnts) January 29, 2024
And the bosses *still* haven't issued any take downs! Happy days! 😏#WithoutContext #GameDev #WereHiring pic.twitter.com/z0b2blBCUI
"You're about to be rear-ended?" "The bosses still haven't issued any take downs?" Stellar's obviously putting it all out there, and given the company's link to Burnout's original developer Criterion and its own work on 2018's Burnout Paradise Remastered, it's not a reach to think that this yet-unnamed "AAA racing title" is going to involve a lot of vehicular mayhem set to a pop punk soundtrack. At least, here's hoping.
If it isn't Burnout, it'll still probably be worth playing. But if it is, we have a little more to discuss. Would this be a remaster of Burnout 3: Takedown, as fans have asked for? That would certainly explain the hint even better—though if this game's using Unreal Engine 5, we're firmly out of remaster territory and talking about a full-on remake. And at that point, wouldn't it just make more sense to build a totally new Burnout?
It also must be said that Electronic Arts' stamp is nowhere on the aforementioned job description, though most of Stellar's projects have been for the Burnout publisher, and the studio recently helped Criterion with Need for Speed: Unbound. Not to put my thumb on the scale, but someone pointed out to me today that EA previously drew some social-media head-scratching when it called its game Wild Hearts a "Gen 5" exclusive, apparently meaning it was only playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series aside from PC. That language could be another clue that Stellar's next effort involves an EA property, albeit an unintentional one. Like a tuk-tuk-driving NPC in Takedown, I am totally clueless about what's to come. But I can't wait to find out.
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