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Criterion: new studio boss discusses road ahead, “beyond cars”

Criterion may have lost its two co-founders, but the Burnout studio's new general manager Matt Webster has discussed what lies ahead for the Guildford outfit in the future. It'll move “beyond cars,” he says.


It follows the departure of Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry. Now, speaking with IGN, Webster declined to comment on why the duo left EA, and opted to focus on the present state of the company instead.

“I worked super close with them,” he began. “I was producer on Burnout 3 when we published that game. Upon the acquisition (EA bought Criterion in 2004), Alex and Fiona asked me to join Criterion. I’ve absolutely loved those years we worked together. We’re obviously friends and have some fantastic memories. We’ve learned a lot from one another, and I totally appreciate all those times we had.”

Criterion now consists as just 17 staff, but Webster stressed that such contraction and swelling has occurred throughout the company's existence. “The timing was right for us to try shrinking down into a creative core,” he stressed, “while we worked out what we wanted to do before expanding again.”

“I think one thing you’ve got to realise is that we’ve always had an amazing amount freedom to do whatever we wanted to choose,” he added. “When we went into NFS, it was absolutely what we wanted to do; when we chose not to do NFS, it was what we wanted to do. We’ve always been masters of our destiny, that’s for sure.”

Webster added that he expects Criterion to grow to over 20 staff in “coming months,” and stated that he sees this staff change as a new chapter. When asked what the team might move into down the line, he replied, “Beyond cars. That’s for certain.”

There's not telling what Criterion will do next. What would you like to see them work on? Let us know below.

About the Author

Dave Cook avatar

Dave Cook


Living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Writing a game called Jettison and a book called Seventh Circle. Loves spicy food.

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