Criterion Games studio lost a group of experienced developers, who had been associated with the company for many years, in the past month. Developers explain their decision by “looking for new opportunities outside Electronic Arts.”
As GamesIndustry.biz reports, among others, Matt Webster, who served as vice president and general manager at Criterion Games for 23 years, left his post.
He became involved with EA itself as early as 1990 and was even part of the team responsible for producing the first installment of the FIFA series.
Alan McDairmant – who had been active in the position of head of development for 17 years – joined him as well.
Also departing were Peter Lake – producer associated with the studio since 1996 – Andrei Shires, serving as senior technical director for 16 years, as well as Steve Uphill – content director, also with the studio for more than a decade.
Each developer justified his departure with “a desire to pursue new opportunities outside Electronic Arts.”
Such a state of affairs has forced the company to do some castling. The position of producer of the Need for Speed series was thus taken over by Charity Joy, formerly responsible for the development of EA Sports UFC.
Geoff Smith of the Codemasters studio, who previously worked on the Dirt and Grid brands, became development director of the racing series.
The entire situation may come as a surprise, particularly if we take into account the quite successful launch of Need for Speed Unbound.
It is possible, however, that the staff confusion is not directly related to the direction of the brand, but arose from other internal conflicts.
As a reminder, the newest installment of Need for Speed hit PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on December 2 and was met with a positive reception.
This game currently boasts a score of 77 out of 100 on Metacritic, which makes it one of the best-rated installments in the series.