Criterion Games Founders Leave EA, Form New Studio
Criterion Games, one of the most talented developers in the games industry, is one of the last studios you’d expect to see lose talent. That’s exactly what’s happening today with the departure of the studio’s founders.
Polygon reports that Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry – the two founders of Criterion Games – have officially left the developer and its owners at Electronic Arts. EA broke the news this morning saying that it “appreciate[s] their many contributions through the years and wish them well in their future endeavors.”
Like with any high profile departure, people are already worried that this means the end of Criterion. After all, things seemingly go downhill when a studio’s founders leave. It doesn’t make it any less worrisome knowing that Criterion was gutted last year to add more manpower to the newly formed Ghost Games, developers on Need for Speed Rivals.
EA probably anticipated such fears and released a statement saying that Criterion is still sticking around. The studio has about 20 people working on a new IP which EA claims is a “major priority” for the publisher going forward. This new IP is now being headed up by studio producer Matt Webster who is now in charge of the entire studio.
So, what about Ward and Sperry? While the two haven’t revealed all of their plans, Ward did share the following statement via Twitter:
— Alex Ward (@AlexanderJWard) January 3, 2014
As for Sperry, she says her partnership with Ward is just getting started:
— Fiona Sperry (@FionaSperry) January 3, 2014
While it’s sad to see the two people responsible for the excellent Burnout series leave Criterion, they will most assuredly make some amazing games at their new outlet. We can only hope Criterion continues to make amazing games as well, even if Burnout doesn’t make a comeback.
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