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Criterion Games co-founders leave to form new studio

Criterion Games co-founders leave to form new studio

Criterion Games created and nurtured the Burnout franchise and had a brief stint on Need for Speed.

Criterion Games co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have left the company with the intention of setting up a new development studio.

Former studio vice-president Ward stated over Twitter that the motivation behind the move was that he 'just decided to start afresh and form a new games company' with director Sperry.

EA-owned Criterion Games, based in Guildford, is probably best known for the Burnout racing series. At present, the studio is working on a new project for next-generation consoles according to EA.

Criterion has recently undergone a staff overhaul. Around 60 to 65 of its headcount were relocated to Ghost Games earlier this year, a new EA studio that took over work on Need for Speed Rivals.

The remaining 20 were left working on a secret new project, which going by Ward and Sperry's LinkedIn profiles is likely code-named Project Zero. The project is now being headed up by another Criterion Games veteran, producer Matt Webster.

In April last year, Ward announced that Criterion Games was working on a new project that was steering away from the arcade racing genre that the studio has become famous for.

Criterion Games was founded in 2000, formerly existing as a division of Criterion Software, a software development house that worked on RenderWare.

3 Comments

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schmidtbag 6th January 2014, 17:11 Quote
I thought Burnout Paradise was one of the worst racing games I've ever played (too easy, not enough variety, races were way too short, online was incredibly boring) but if they seriously are intending to move Burnout away from arcade racing, I think that will have officially killed the franchise. Though, the article never explicitly said Burnout was being affected.

Due to the staff overhaul, supervision by EA, and drastically changing the approach to their next game, I'm sure this new game will end up being a fossilized piece of crap - seems cool, until you realize what it REALLY is.
Tomhyde1986 6th January 2014, 17:49 Quote
I'm totally biased as I worked on Paradise but I rather liked it. I agree though it was too easy, anything outside of races themselves were mostly pretty poor and it badly needed crash junctions. They were the whole reason anyone ever played Burnout!

Hopefully they go on to bigger and better things.
rayson 7th January 2014, 18:24 Quote
i rather liked it aswell however erything but the racing was quite poor. the racing itself i found good but too easy as you said
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