Criterion games are best known for their work on the Burnout Franchise, the PS2 First Person Shooter Black and their reboots of Need For Speed games. They are also responsible for the development of the middleware engine Renderware which has been used in the development of games such as Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty: Finest Hour, Pro Evolution Soccer and Sonic Heroes. They were acquired by EA in 2004.
Criterion are known for pushing the technical limits of consoles, in particular the PS2 and PS3 and their game have tended to focus on speed and ease of play.
During the development of Burnout Paradise and its DLC releases Criterion Games put a large emphasis on direct communication with their fans via their website.
In September of 2013 Criterion creative director Alex Ward informed the world via twitter of major changes at Criterion. The majority of the studio was already working with Ghost Games on Need for Speed Rivals. At some point during this process those team members at Criterion working on Rivals formed a new company, Ghost UK. Alex Ward and about 14 others remained with Criterion and EA, have moved locations, and continued to work on something new.
In January 2014, Ward and fellow co-founder Fiona Sperry left EA to start up a new game studio.