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Criterion Software Ltd.


Criterion is a game development company founded on 29th January 1990 and based in Guildford, England (UK). The team is especially known for the fast-paced Burnout series of race games and its proprietary 3D engine RenderWare. The company had offices in the United States (Austin, Texas - Criterion Software Inc.), Derby (UK), Paris (France) and Tokyo (Japan). It was owned by Canon Europe N.V. One of Criterion's subsidiaries was Fiendish Entertainment (closed in late 2000).

In 2004 Criterion was sold by Canon to Electronic Arts UK Limited and became an internal development studio of Electronic Arts. In the Summer of 2006 the Derby satellite office was closed. In February (or March) 2007, Electronic Arts UK combined its Chertsey-based UK development studio and Criterion Games into a new building in central Guildford (UK), creating a single studio together with the now-closed EA Bright Light, part of EA Casual Entertainment.

In September 2013 it was revealed the main Criterion team had been downsized to 16 people, known as Criterion Zero. The other part, about 60-65 people, was dubbed Ghost Games UK as a support studio for the Swedish EA studio Ghost Games. In February 2014 it was reported all of the contractors at Ghost Games UK were let go and the full staff were said to either take redundancy or join the team at Criterion to work on Battlefield Hardline.

Criterion is currently still active with the name Criterion Software Ltd., the company name that was registered on 29th November 2001. The other registered companies tied to Criterion were all dissolved on 13th May 2014: Criterion Software Group Ltd. (registered on 29th January 1990), Criterion Software International Ltd. (registered on 29th January 1990) and Electronic Arts (UK) Ltd. (registered on 15th July 2004). Although informally referenced as EA UK in the Battlefield Hardline credits, Criterion Software Ltd. is most like the only active studio name.

Also Known As

  • Criterion Software Group Ltd. (from Jan 29, 1990 to Nov 29, 2001)


Company address and contact information:

(Feb 2007):
Criterion Games
Onslow House
Onslow Street
Guildford, Surrey
United Kingdom
Website: www.criteriongames.com

(Oct. 2004):
Criterion Software Ltd. (Criterion Software Group Limited)
Westbury Court, Bury Fields
Guildford, Surry
United Kingdom

Tel: 01483 406200
Fax: 01483 406211
Website: www.csl.com

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