[Multi] The Rebirth of Criterion Games

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#1
They ain't dead.

While many onlookers found the reduction of Criterion’s staff to just 17 alarming, it’s immediately clear that Webster wasn’t perturbed in the slightest. It’s all part of the cycle, he tells me. This is where Webster benefits from perspective of having been with EA for over 20 years and at Criterion for going on 10.

“We’ve changed a lot,” he tells me. “Whenever we’re grown, we’ve shrunk. You change shape. New people come in and old people go. That’s kind of the nature of the business, you know. You can’t stand still at all. I don’t think we ever can. That’s certainly a big focus for us: always change, adapt and innovate.”

And while most change is usually imposed, Webster tells me this reduction was Criterion’s decision, born partly of fatigue with the racing genre. “We did Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit on the back of Burnout: Paradise. Then we did Most Wanted. Then we wanted to do something new.

“The timing was right for us to try shrinking down into a creative core, while we worked out what we wanted to do before expanding again.”

...

So what does Criterion look like right now? It’s a mixture of Criterion veterans – staff that have shipped at least two games at the studio – and new people who have come in over the last six months. The team is currently more than 20, but that is expected to grow in the coming months. It’s all dictated by the life cycle of the project.

“Like I said, you stay small and agile, and that’s super beneficial for coming up with or exploring prototypes or exploring new concepts. When you start to gravitate towards something, you start to build afresh. Currently we are more than 20 and we expect to grow in the coming months as well.”
I have my doubts that Criterion is really "masters of their own destiny" (they'll be structured how EA wants them to be structured, until EA no longer owns the studio), but it's nice to see that there's still some spark here, and that they're still doing this new project that Ward and Sperry would've been helming, anyways.
 

Ex-Actarus

Well-Known Member
#2
The way EA has killed so many studios is terrible.

20 people ? What are they going to do ? HD remake of Need for Speed Underground for Xbox Live and PSN ?

I don't give even 2 years to Criterion...
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#3
The way EA has killed so many studios is terrible.

20 people ? What are they going to do ? HD remake of Need for Speed Underground for Xbox Live and PSN ?

I don't give even 2 years to Criterion...

I personally would LOVE to have an actual sequel to Black, or even a HD remake of the original game.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#4
20 people ? What are they going to do ? HD remake of Need for Speed Underground for Xbox Live and PSN ?
Like shoulder, I'd be just fine with an HD remake of Black (that game was a straight up popcorn FPS with absolutely no pretensions), but don't underestimate what you can do with a small team.

For instance, Vanillaware? 23 employees.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanillaware

Tri-Crescendo? 27.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-Crescendo

Treasure? At any given time, 20-40.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treasure_(company)

Frozenbyte? 20-ish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frozenbyte

I'd be surprised if the early team for Ubisoft's Child of Light was much larger (it's probably grown, just as Criterion is supposed to add some more people once they're further along in their project).
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#5
I have hopes for them, they are very good developers. It sucks to have to wait so long for these things.
 
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