Need for Speed Unbound Studio Veterans Depart to “Explore New Opportunities”

Criterion's VP and GM Matt Webster has left after over 23 years at the publisher along with four other long-time members.

Posted By | On 19th, Dec. 2022

Need for Speed Unbound_07

Criterion Games has seen some high-level departures following the release of Need for Speed Unbound. As reported by GamesIndustry, VP and general manager Matt Webster is out after over 23 years at Electronic Arts.

Executive producer Pete Lake, technical director Andrei Shires, head of studio development Alan McDairmant, and head of content Steve Uphill have also left, each spending ten or more years with EA. The reason for their departure was to “explore new opportunities outside” the publisher. There’s no word on whether the underwhelming response to Unbound, whose launch week physical sales were down by 64 percent in the UK compared to Need for Speed Heat, was the reason.

Charity Joy of EA Sports UFC franchise fame has joined Criterion as Need for Speed executive producer and Geoff Smith, who worked on DiRT and GRID for Codemasters, is now senior director of product development. Smith is still overseeing the next WRC game, which launches in Spring 2023. Head of studio operations Steve Cuss will continue in his role, working with Joy and Smith.

EA’s racing group GM David Rutter told staff, “It’s now been one year since the talented teams at Codemasters and Criterion officially came together as one unified force, driving the future of racing entertainment. This is an incredibly exciting time for our group following the recent launch of Need for Speed Unbound, (which is being hailed as having opened a new era for the franchise), the successful release of EA SPORTS F1 22 earlier this year, as well as significant progress on the development of WRC.

“As we look ahead, we know there’s a strong opportunity to evolve our games and experiences and bring them to an even broader audience of fans – with our long-term strategy centered on our strengths in licensed motorsports as well as arcade/open-world racing.

“Building off the progress made so far this year, with two launches and even more plans underway for next, we are confident that we have the best people, working on the best games, and will achieve great things in 2023.”

Need for Speed Unbound is out on Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and PC. It’s due to receive post-launch updates, with the first expanding on the social play features. Additional details are coming by the end of January 2023, so stay tuned.


Amazing Articles You Might Want To Check Out!

Share Your Thoughts Below  (Always follow our comments policy!)



Keep On Reading!

PS6 Graphics – Can it Approach Photorealism?

PS6 Graphics – Can it Approach Photorealism?

If the PS5 Pro leaks are accurate, the eventual PS6 is slated to be one powerful console. But if modern GPUs s...

Fortnite Announces Fallout Crossover

Fortnite Announces Fallout Crossover

Details are scarce, but Epic Games has confirmed that the battle royale title is getting a Fallout crossover.

Stellar Blade Update Teased for Next Week

Stellar Blade Update Teased for Next Week

"Get ready for next week," developer Shift Up says in a recently published tweet, though nothing else is revea...

LEGO Horizon Adventures in Development, Will be Announced Soon – Rumour

LEGO Horizon Adventures in Development, Will be Announced Soon – Rumour

It's been claimed that the LEGO-themed game will be similar to Horizon Forbidden West and feature a realistic ...

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes Review – Start from the Beginning

Lorelei and the Laser Eyes Review – Start from the Beginning

True to the developers' past catalog, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a unique and memorable game.

Biomutant – Three Years Later

Biomutant – Three Years Later

After launching three years ago in a relatively disappointing state, how does Experiment 101's open-world acti...