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Criterion Games co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry leave EA to found new studio

Criterion Games co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have left Electronic Arts to found a new studio, according to an announcement from the firm.

UPDATE: Dave just asked Alex Ward why he left Criterion over Twitter. He replied:

ORIGINAL STORY: EA confirmed the departures to Polygon, stating both Ward and Sperry "decided to leave EA," and that the firm appreciated "their many contributions through the years and wish them well."

Criterion's Matt Webster is now lead on the developer's new project for next-gen consoles, currently known as project zero according to Ward and Sperry's LinkedIn profiles. It was announced back in April that the title was not a racing game.

In September, vice president Alex Ward said he had sent many of his team members voluntarily over to Ghost Games to work on the Need for Speed franchise, with studio director Fiona Sperry confirming it was never the developer’s intention to stick with doing racing games forever.

The Guildford, Surrey-based studio started life in 1993 as a 3D graphics rendering firm before specializing in the development of the RenderWare family of middleware technology.

Criterion Games was a division within Criterion Software and used the Renderware engine to develop games to show what the engine was capable of, thus eventually being uses in in Grand Theft Auto titles such as Vice City and San Andreas.

The firm was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2004 for a rumored £40 million.

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Stephany Nunneley-Jackson

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Stephany is VG247’s News Editor, with 22 years experience (with 15 of them at VG247). With a brain that lacks adhesive ducks, the ill-tempered, chaotic neutral fembot does her best to bring you the most interesting gaming news. She is also unofficially the site’s Lord of the Rings/Elder Scrolls Editor.