In a series of tweets over the weekend, Criterion founder Alex Ward updated the world on the current status of Criterion. And while it has been known for a long time that a large portion of the Crtierion team worked with Ghost Games on Need for Speed: Rivals - Ward now confirmed that only 17 (15 in some tweets) people remain with Criterion Games who are working on something new at a new location.
Most of the Studio was committed to helping on Rivals. A small group of chose not to and began work on something new. It was reported in Jan
We would rather work a small team all focused on gameplay rather than a huge team split by discipline.
We didn't want to take on 50 people when they are not needed. Too many folks too soon dilutes solving gameplay problems.
Hence Ghost UK was formed from a load of Criterion folks. But 15 of us retain the Criterion identity and work in a new location.
We're fortunate to be part of a big organisation that curates and invests in new intellectual properties. It really *isn't* the evil empire.
No reason to fear EA is killing off Criterion like so many studios in the past, instead you could view it as a rare chance to start afresh for the UK team, while the rest of the studio continues on with Need for Speed.