So that's where they went: Criterion co-founders start up new engines at Three Fields | PCGamesN

So that's where they went: Criterion co-founders start up new engines at Three Fields

Criterion used to make games about cars. They were rather good at it.

If you haven’t heard of Three Fields Entertainment, don’t worry yourself - you’ve still got it. They’re new.

Three Fields are the indie outfit assembled in January after Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry exited stage left from a dramatically reduced version of the onetime Burnout studio.

We don’t know what they’re working on - only that they’re based somewhere in Britain (probably Surrey). Which in this age where many a talented developer is forced to board the swish, mostly-glass boats to Canada, isn’t something to be sniffed at.

“We will make games for all platforms where we can self-publish,” said Ward on Twitter. “Why Three Fields? Just a line that stood out to me in the Interstellar script.”

Three Fields are currently engaged in a kind of high-concept hiring process. Ward and Sperry are looking for staff “skilled in at least three fields of creating electronic entertainment” - with, presumably, a fourth dual-classed skill reserved for tea-making or coffee runs.

And what of Criterion? The 17-strong team that remains are working on a secret project for the new consoles under the direction of lead developer Matt Webster.

Before vacating Criterion in January, Sperry told PCGN that the team “wanted to do something new and have been doing so for the last six months”. 

“Criterion has always been about doing our own games so it was never the long term plan for us to stay doing Need for Speed,” she said. “Thats not our game. 

“We love being a small team so we are keen to stay so for as long as possible. Our best games and ideas come about when we work this way.”

What’s more, Sperry waved away the idea that EA had made the decision to disassemble Criterion and relocate the majority of its staff to Need for Speed: Most Wanted studio Ghost Games.

“My management team at Criterion sorted it out with the management team at Ghost,” she explained. “Thats how things work at EA these days. Teams work together, coordinate sharing of people as it suits where projects are at.”

Nevertheless, Sperry and Ward left the company earlier this year. What would you like to see them working on? Are you up for another insurance-nightmare racer, or something new?

Cheers, Polygon.

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MrJinxed avatar
MrJinxed Avatar
4 Years ago

I think it's great they formed a new studio. I really didn't like the newer nfs titles (starting from the hot pursuit reboot), but these guys are obviously a talented bunch, so it'll be interesting to see what they push out next. Perhaps even as an Early Access title on steam.