Last year saw the popular developer Criterion undergo some serious restructuring with approximately 80 percent of the studio’s then staff being shifted over to a new studio by the name of Ghost Games in order to handle development of the Need for Speed series. The results of this change lead to Need for Speed Rivals which was both critically and commercially well received. Meanwhile Criterion became studio of around 17 and all working on a new project operating under the codename Team Zero and said to be, in a departure for the studio, a non-racing game.
Now however it seems that this team 17 has shrunken just a little bit further as today Criterion-owner EA has confirmed that Criterion founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have departed the studio. According to an EA representative, “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 endeavors. 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.”
When asked about their departure on Twitter, Alex Ward responded that “Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with @FionaSperry #freshstart.” It has also been announced by the UK-based publication Develop that Ward will be a regular columnist for them beginning February. Let us know what you think of this latest changeover in staff for Criterion in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of gaming news from around the world.