Burnout Paradise

Criterion Games' Burnout Creators and Co-Founders Leave EA

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Criterion Games co-founders and creators of the Burnout series, Creative Director Alex Ward and Studio Director Fiona Sperry have left EA, following the departure of PopCap Games CEO Dave Roberts, who plans to leave the developer this week [via Gamasutra].

"Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have decided to leave EA," an EA rep told Polygon. "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."

According to a recent LinkedIn update on Alex Ward's profile, the studio was working on "unannounced project zero," while Sperry's LinkedIn profile indicates that she's working on the "Team Zero" project, alluded to as "the next thing from Criterion Games."

Ward and Sperry formed Criterion Games in 2000 from Criterion Software, a technology firm responsible for developing RenderWare. The studio birthed the Burnout series and instalments in EA's Need for Speed franchise, including Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted.

EA's Ghost studio is now solely responsible for the Need for Speed series.

Alex Ward recently tweeted that he's "just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with Fiona Sperry."


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Game Info
Electronic Arts


US February 22, 2008
Europe February 25, 2008

Resolution: 720p
Sound: Dolby 5.1 Surround
Players: 1-2
Online Players : 2-8
Price: $14.99USD
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