DJ Atomica’s long hunt for a new job may finally be over. As confirmed on Twitter this morning, Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have split off from their EA owned studio in order to pursue something new. Their studio most famously produced the Burnout series of car crash simulators/arcade racers, but has lately become the main studio for the much less arcadey Need for Speed franchise to the detriment of all mankind. Much of Criterion’s existing staff had also recently been folded into Ghost Games, the developers behind the recent Need for Speed: Rivals.
In the years following EA’s purchase of Criterion, it seems that the arcade racer in general has gone out of favor, making a fine opportunity for the former masters to swoop in and reclaim their throne. Personally, I’m hopeful for a return to the more structured mission system of something like Burnout: Revenge rather than the open world system they’ve been using for their last few games. However, as long as whatever their next project is has the same dedication to speed and destruction as their previous work, we’re all in for a treat.