Criterion Games (officially called Criterion Software) is a British video game developer, based in Guildford, Surrey that are best known for their work on the award-winning racing video game series Burnout and various Need for Speed games. While they have provided support for recent games in the Battlefield series.
Criterion Software was founded by Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry in 1993 as a technology company, primarily known for developing the RenderWare engine. Criterion Games was originally a division of Criterion Software and specialized in the development games using RederWare. The company would have widespread success as the developer of the Burnout racing series, leading to it acquisition by Electronic Arts in 2004. Following the company's purchase, Electronic Arts announced that the RenderWare engine would no longer be available for commercial licensing. Despite this, those who had licensed the engine before this announcement were still able to use it.
The company went on to develop several more installments in the Burnout series as well as several entries of the Need For Speed series. The studio announced on April 28th, 2013 that they were planning to stop developing racing games in favor of other genres. As a result, seventy of Criterion's eighty-seven staff were relocated to the new studio Ghost Games to develop new entries for Need For Speed. Company founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry left the studio in January 2014 to create a new studio, Three Fields Entertainment.
Criterion is now focusing on providing support to several game franchise owned and published by Electronic Arts such as Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield. Games of the Battlefield series they provided support for were Battlefield Hardline and Battlefield 1. Criterion is currently developing the battle royal gamemode for 'Battlefield V, Firestorm.