Former Criterion leads form new studio Fuse Games, with a AAA game in development
A number of Criterion veterans left the studio after Need for Speed Unbound
A team of former Criterion leads have set up a new studio, and are working on a new ‘AAA’ game.
Fuse Games is a new UK studio led by former EA vice president and Criterion Games general manager Matt Webster.
The team says it has already started working on “a brand new premium AAA title” for PC and console, which it says is “fusing uncompromising attention to game-feel with blockbuster spectacle and player-centric innovations in social gameplay, self-expression, and creativity.”
Webster was one of five senior developers who left Criterion late last year following the release of Need for Speed Unbound, and now takes on the role of studio general manager at Fuse Games.
Need for Speed Unbound - trailer
All five of those departing members – Webster, executive producer Pete Lake, head of studio development Alan McDairmant, head of content Steve Uphill and senior technical director Andrei Shires –are now part of Fuse Games, which currently has 17 employees to its name.
The studio’s Companies House listing also names Steve Pointon, who has been senior vice president and group general manager at EA for 22 years, as a company director. It has not yet officially been announced if Pointon is leaving EA. VGC has reached out to Fuse Games for comment.
The founding team has worked in the past on such franchises as Burnout, Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront and Need for Speed. Webster also worked on the original FIFA, and ‘starred’ in the game as one of England’s best players, in the days before it used real player names.
In a statement, Webster said: “Fuse’s founding team and I love games and we love making them, and we’re driven to look at what’s next for us and for this wonderful industry.
“It takes a great team to make great games, so at Fuse we’re striving to inspire and lead the next generation of game developers and game industry leaders.
“With the founding team’s experience, we truly understand the value of building teams, and we will work to lead, grow, develop and fuse our people together with a clear vision that is guided by our shared values.”