author: Adrian Werner
NFS Unbound Team Hit as Group of Veteran Devs Leaves Criterion
After the release of NFS Unbound, Criterion Games lost five key employees. The oldest of them had worked at EA for more than 30 years.
Two weeks ago, the game Need for Speed Unbound, the latest installment in Electronic Arts' hit racing series, debuted on the market. The development team responsible for it has just been severely weakened.
- As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, after the release of NFS Unbound Criterion Games lost five veterans.
- Among them was the company's vice president and general manager Matt Webster, who had worked at EA since 1990 and was part of the team responsible for the first installment of FIFA. He spent 23 years working at Criterion alone.
- Also leaving are executive producer Peter Lake, hired by Criterion in 1996, and technical director Andrei Shires, who spent 16 years at the studio.
- Head of production Alan McDairmant (who worked at the company for 17 years) and head of content Steve Uphill (10 years at Criterion) have also left the team.
- Importantly, all of these developers have no plans to work at other Electronic Arts teams and want to develop at other companies.
- The departures of these veterans are such a serious loss that EA had to strengthen the group responsible for Need for Speed. Charity Joy, who previously worked on the EA Sports UFC series, became the executive producer for the brand. In turn, the position of senior development director of NFS was taken over by Geoff Smith, who previously oversaw the theDIRT and GRID series at Codemasters.
Recall that Need for Speed Unbound is available for PC, Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, and was released on December 2, this year.
The game received quite a warm reception. On OpenCritic it has an average rating of 76%. On Steam, in turn, 71% of player reviews praise NFS Unbound.
- Need for Speed Unbound - official website