Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry who are the cofounders of Criterion have left the acclaimed studio. Ward said on Twitter that he and Sperry left the studio to ensemble a new video game company. Criterion’s most recent games are Burnout Crash and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Here’s the statement from EA.
“Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have decided to leave EA. We appreciate their many contributions through the years and wish them well in their future endeavours.
“The incredibly creative and talented team at Criterion are hard at work on a new project for next-gen consoles as new IP continues to be a major priority across EA. Matt Webster is leading development of the new game and the Criterion studio moving forward. Matt has been part of Criterion for years and has an exciting vision for this new game.”
Criterion games’ boss Alex Ward took to Twitter earlier and announced that he would be moving on from racing titles and said, ‘it’s time to make something new.’ After the rumour of a new ‘unannounced racing title’ spread like wild-fire to be quashed later by Ward himself, it appears there’s no longer room for another racing title in Criterion Games’ repertoire for the moment.
In a string of tweets, Ward said: “Here is what I want folks to know. Some folks are eternally disappointed. Nothing I can do about that. So many tweets asking for new Burnout [and] equally many tweets asking for a new NFS game from us. Also Road Rash. Whilst I love all of those games, I am personally not doing any.
“After over a decade of making racing games it’s time to make something new. It is early days thus I have nothing to “announce” or talk about. I am proud of all of the Burnout games. When it feels right we will make another one. We are creative people.”
Yesterday, we reported that a Need for Speed: Underground remake could be in the works, according to a logo sent into EGM Now. Apparently, these rumours are entirely false. Criterion Games creative director Alex Ward enlightened fans on Twitter that the game in question was just a rumour and nothing more. Earlier today, he tweeted: “Totally fake. Remakes and Reboots? #movedon”.
An anonymous source sent the logo above to EGM Now and claims that it’s from the Xbox 360 version of a supposed remake of Need for Speed: Underground, which was originally released in 2003 on multiple platforms, including Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube.
The developer of the unconfirmed remake is said to be Criterion Games, subsidiary of Electronic Arts (EA) and the studio behind Need for Speed: Most Wanted. While a remake of Need for Speed: Underground can only be confirmed by EA, keep in mind that several employees from Criterion Games are apparently working on an ‘unannounced racing title.’
Rumours are afloat that Criterion Games – who brought Need For Speed and Burnout titles to the Wii and Wii U – are developing a ‘unannounced racing title’ slated for release sometime this year. The project has already been listed on various Criterion’s employers professional LinkedIn accounts, listed under ‘EA games for 2013′, but whether we’re looking at a new IP or a sequel to another franchise is still uncorroborated.
Last October, Criterion confirmed a return to the Burnout franchise would be a possibility, but creative director Alex Ward dismissed rumours that there would a sequel to Burnout Paradise. Yesterday, he tweeted saying: “Another #epic day working with an #epic team on something #amazing.” With so much speculation, confirmation of the unannounced title shouldn’t be too far off.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted launches on Wii U next month. Publisher EA has confirmed that the racing game will be available March 19th in North America, and March 21st in Europe and Australia. The Wii U version of the game supports Miiverse and includes the Ultimate Speed Pack, which lets players take to the streets five exceedingly fast cars: McLaren’s F1 LM, Lamborghini’s Aventador J, the Pagani Zonda R, Bugatti’s Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and Hennessey’s Venom GT Spyder.
EA has confirmed that Criterion Games‘ upcoming sandbox racing game, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, is coming to Nintendo’s forthcoming console. The game arrives to other platforms, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, on October 30th, but Wii U’s version launches sometime during 2013.
“Starting Oct. 30, Most Wanted will be available on X360, PS3, PS Vita, Android and iOS. Then in 2013, Nintendo fans will be able to experience what it means to be Most Wanted amongst their friends on the Wii U.”