Biggest games story of the year so far?
Shock deal sees top publisher picking up RenderWare creator and key game franchises
Electronic Arts has announced the purchase of British game development studio and leading middleware provider Criterion, giving the top publisher control of the hugely popular RenderWare platform.
Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but it will see EA taking over the entirety of Criterion’s operations from former parent company Canon Europe - including RenderWare, the company’s game development studio, and key game properties Burnout and Black.
EA plans to use Renderware - and the forthcoming RenderWare 4 system for next generation consoles - as the basis for its game development in future, and while Criterion will be managed from the EA UK Studio in Chertsey, only a few miles away from Crtierion’s Guildford headquarters, the RenderWare project will be managed separately from EA’s local studios.
Crucially, EA has also confirmed that it will continue licensing the company’s middleware technology to other developers. The RenderWare platform is used by a large number of other publishers and developers around the globe on key projects. The irony that they will now be licensing their core technology from their biggest rival will, however, almost certainly not be lost on many of them.