Multiple Veteran Criterion Devs Leave the Studio

Multiple veteran Criterion Games developers have now left the studio following the launch of Need for Speed Unbound. Each of the five members exiting the company have worked at Criterion for more than a decade, though no specific reason behind their departure was mentioned other than seeking greener pastures.

Criterion originally got a foothold in the gaming industry for developing the destructive, high-octane arcade racing series Burnout. The studio was given the reigns to the Need for Speed franchise at one point where it developed Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and worked as a support studio on other key entries. After the closure of former Need for Speed studio Ghost Games, Criterion were given the keys to the franchise again to work on this year’s Unbound.

READ MORE – Criterion Has No Plans for Burnout But Would Love to Return to it now reports that five veteran Criterion developers have now parted ways with the studio. These include VP and GM of Criterion Matt Webster, executive producer Pete Lake, head of studio development Alan McDairmant, head of content Steve Uphill and senior technical director Andrei Shires. All have cited that they have left to “explore new opportunities outside of EA.”

All five members have worked at Criterion for over a decade, with Webster working the longest at EA for 23 years.

Rutter told Criterion staff in an internal message:

“It’s now been one year since the talented teams at Codemasters and Criterion officially came together as one unified force, driving the future of racing entertainment. This is an incredibly exciting time for our group following the recent launch of Need for Speed Unbound, (which is being hailed as having opened a new era for the franchise), the successful release of EA Sports F1 22 earlier this year, as well as significant progress on the development of WRC.”

Rutter continued by reassuring remaining staff that things will progress smoothly and strongly at Criterion:

“As we look ahead, we know there’s a strong opportunity to evolve our games and experiences and bring them to an even broader audience of fans – with our long-term strategy centred on our strengths in licensed motorsports and arcade/open-world racing. Building off the progress made so far this year, with two launches, and even more plans underway for next, we are confident that we have the best people, working on the best games, and will achieve great things in 2023.”

Need for Speed Unbound is currently available for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Make sure you read our full review here.


Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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