Criterion Games vice president and creative director Alex Ward and studio director Fiona Sperry have officially parted ways with the studio that they once co-founded. The two have left publisher Electronic Arts and will venture out to create an entirely new game studio.
"Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have decided to leave EA," an EA spokesperson told Polygon. "We appreciate their many contributions through the years and wish them well in their future endeavours."
Criterion, known primarily for the Burnout series, will be left in the hands of Need for Speed: Most Wanted executive producer Matt Webster, who will spearhead the studio's next game. This announcement comes a few months after Ward had stated that most of Criterion's staff had moved to NFS Rivals developer Ghost Games, leaving roughly 17 people at Criterion.
Ward stated his future goals on Twitter, which will not include the Burnout franchise, since EA owns the IP. While nothing is certain at the moment, Ward did previously express a desire to move towards something entirely new that doesn't involve a racing title.