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Criterion Cofounders Leave

Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry are departing Criterion Games, the racing-oriented developer (Burnout series, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: Most Wanted) they helped cofound, reports Polygon, where they have a statement about the change from Electronic Arts. "Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have decided to leave EA," an EA spokesperson told them. "We appreciate their many contributions through the years and wish them well in their future endeavours." The EA statement also mentions that Criterion continues to develop a new IP for next-generation consoles, and the Criterion Games website has a new year message saying they're "cooking up something new." Following the original report, Alex Ward tweeted about plans for a new company, saying: "Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

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15. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 4, 2014, 10:56 panbient
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:44:
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom

The other way of saying that is - pass the risk / burden of responsibility onto someone else. It's hardly a bad deal, especially if your own financial situation doesn't change dramatically. Job security is not exactly common in the development industry.

Also here's hoping that this means a new game more in line with Burnout 2/3 and less like Burnout Paradise.
 
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14. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 4, 2014, 08:51 avianflu
 
That's Just Wrong.

1. Their criterion engine on the PS2 was truly a marvel for its time. Ridiculous framerates with impressive particle effects.

2. Burnout 2 is an arcade racing classic game. Burnout 3 and 4 are really solid.

Their later games are bland. But their starting point was memorable.
 
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13. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 4, 2014, 07:18 netnerd85
 
Whenever I see Criterion I think, Crichton  
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12. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 4, 2014, 02:48 Wraith
 
Yes, another development studio which EA has comprehensively fucked.

Mind you, Criterion was overrated - their NFS stuff has absolutely no fucking soul to it and their "Most Wanted" is vastly inferior to the 2005 NFS: Most Wanted.

They're a budget racing outfit, but it looks like even that was too much for EA to handle without killing people's desire to live.

Just goes to show you folks - sell your soul to EA and pretty soon you'll be churning out soulless product.
 
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11. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 17:10 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:44:
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:22:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Not that it's bad for him?

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Leave EA with piles of cash under your arms
5) Repeat

Your list is forgetting a few minor, very important items.

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Complain endlessly about publisher pressure and lack of freedom
5) Swear up and down you'll never, ever work for a publisher again
6) Leave EA with cash and start over
7) Sell company to EA in a few years, and begin complaining again

It's sometimes referred to as the Peter Molyeneueueueuuuxuxuxxx syndrome.

Oh. I had no clue he'd complained.
I never fully understand why devs complain when they lose freedom after selling out. You literally sold your ownership. Someone didn't give you that money for free, they gave it for the ability to make sure you kept earning.

It's like the guy that gets married and has a kid then complains that he can't go to the bar every night anymore.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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10. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 16:47 Krovven
 
LanikTnt wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:25:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Gamers have this crazy notion that all game devs want to do is make the games they want to make without influences from a publisher. They have wives, kids, a mortgage, etc. like everyone else. I've known lots of software developers who spin up companies, make a successful product, sell the company, rinse/repeat. There's nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with that at all. Criterion wasn't a one hit wonder though. They had been around awhile with many successful games and probably didn't need to sell out to EA in 2004. But I don't know what their financial situation was like in 2004, so who knows. Maybe they were in trouble and selling for $40 mil pounds was their best option.

 
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9. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:48 HorrorScope
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:44:
It's sometimes referred to as the Peter Molyeneueueueuuuxuxuxxx syndrome.

That guy has a few syndromes then.
 
Avatar 17232
 
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8. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:44 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:22:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Not that it's bad for him?

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Leave EA with piles of cash under your arms
5) Repeat

Your list is forgetting a few minor, very important items.

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Complain endlessly about publisher pressure and lack of freedom
5) Swear up and down you'll never, ever work for a publisher again
6) Leave EA with cash and start over
7) Sell company to EA in a few years, and begin complaining again

It's sometimes referred to as the Peter Molyeneueueueuuuxuxuxxx syndrome.
 
Avatar 15604
 
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7. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:42 Cutter
 
Hells yeah, the name of the real game is selling your company for a whack of dough. Not all of us need or want to be Bill Gates. A few mil and I'm good thanks.
 
Avatar 25394
 
"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's deadů Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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6. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:34 killer_roach
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 15:22:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Not that it's bad for him?

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Leave EA with piles of cash under your arms
5) Repeat

Additionally, after that many years with the same studio, maybe it's best for them to start fresh, get some new blood in to the system, and work on something new. Can't say as to blame them, really.
 
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5. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:25 LanikTnt
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Gamers have this crazy notion that all game devs want to do is make the games they want to make without influences from a publisher. They have wives, kids, a mortgage, etc. like everyone else. I've known lots of software developers who spin up companies, make a successful product, sell the company, rinse/repeat. There's nothing wrong with that.
 
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4. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 15:22 Beamer
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.

Not that it's bad for him?

1) Create studio to do what you want
2) Sell studio to EA for huge sum of money
3) Stay with EA for a few years, making the exact same game you used to make, only under a different title and with a bit less freedom
4) Leave EA with piles of cash under your arms
5) Repeat
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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3. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 14:28 jdreyer
 
nin wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:16:
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.


Goodbye, Burnout...


I think this is a good development (see what I did there?). These guys can make the game they want without interference from The Suits. EA would force them to make the game full price but with half the cars and tracks available only via microtransaction.

I feel that the SimCity debacle is playing a huge part in these talented people leaving to strike out on their own (both Criterion and Popcap).
 
Avatar 22024
 
"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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2. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 14:16 nin
 
Creston wrote on Jan 3, 2014, 14:07:
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.


Goodbye, Burnout...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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1. Re: Criterion Cofounders Leave Jan 3, 2014, 14:07 Creston
 
"Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart."

I'd lay even odds that five years from now he sells his company to EA again, because game devs never learn.
 
Avatar 15604
 
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