EA buys Criterion; deal includes game studio and RenderWare


#1

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.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?section_name=dev&aid=3879


#2

Good to hear that renderware will still be available to other developers. This takeover is quite a biggy though. Looks like EA is only getting bigger and bigger.


#3

Though I have nothing against EA, I suspect a competing product will now emerge.


#4

bump I think this may be important for the games bods…


#5

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I love criterion. There goes their soul. I don’t really have anything against EA, I just really liked criterion.


#6

i hope this doesn’t hurt the relationship studios have with Renderware. if your making a game that is going against one of the many EA games and your using Renderware, your shooting yourself in the foot.

i don’t know, probably nothing will change… lets hope.


#7

there games always just seems to be a little different than others, and I really hope this doesn’t change that, black seems to have so much promise.


#8

EA will close criterion down in a few years just like they did for Westwood - EA buys companies for IPs rather than the actual talent based at that company. Though in this case I guess the main thing they were after was Renderware, the development of which they’ve already moved to their main offices.

Its a shame, EA buys a company, and over a few years strips away all that made that company unique in the first place until its just another internal dev studio, manufacturing acceptable, but soulless games. As a case in point, look what happend to Bullfrog.


#9

This is fantastic news for EA but I’m not sure what it will mean for other developers using Renderware. It doesn’t fill me with confidence.

“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.”


#10

I’m glad that I’m not the only one that thought of Westwood when I heard this. I think it’s pretty clear that EA is mainly after Renderware. But maybe this is a good thing. I mean, most games that are made with Renderware kinda look it. Maybe this is the time for game companies to clear out projects currently using Renderware and invest time into creating their own engines or finding alternatives. Maybe demand for a nonpartisan game engine will breed something better than Renderware.

I think that Renderware could become something of RenderMan of game engines. That it’ll still be licensed out, but the best progs will be in-house only. I would say the only thing keeping Renderware from something like this would be the fact that it doesn’t exactly look the greatest.

At the very least this makes me worry about jobs in games… at least at the Artist end of the stick. This might turn out to be a great time to be a game programmer, but i doubt this is going to create more artist jobs. :hmm:

-Chris


#11

Damn! Guildford is losing more and more gaming companies. First Mucky Foot and then Lost Toys, and now Criterion. Whats going on? What next Lionhead? A sad day for Guildford!!


#12

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