Criterion Games, the studio known for the Burnout franchise and more recently the latest Need for Speed games, is losing two key staff members. Alex Ward, the vice president and creative director, and Fiona Sperry, the studio director, are both no longer working at the studio.
Both influential team members were co-founders of Criterion Games, which was formed out of Criterion Software back in 2000. Criterion Software was a technology company that developed RenderWare. After the 2010 release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Criterion Games was given the reins to the franchise moving forward.
Despite the future of the Need for Speed series being handed over to Criterion, while a large amount of staffers (over 60 in total) had migrated from Criterion to Ghost Games, which we later found out were put in charge of the Need for Speed series. With the core staff at Criterion at just a bit over a dozen, what’s left for the studio?
Matt Webster, a long time member of Criterion Games, is now leading development of the studio’s still unannounced next-generation IP. We still have no idea what this new IP could entail, or if this is even in full development following the departure of Ward and Sperry.
Finally, after their departure, it was only natural for people to ask questions regarding their decision, to which Alex Ward responded:
So what do you guys think? Is this the final nail in the coffin for Criterion, or will EA keep them around to work on new projects?