Criterion Games

Criterion Games

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Criterion Games

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Criterion Games (officially called Criterion Software) is a Guildford, England based British video game developer. It is best known for its work on the award-winning, multi-platform Burnout series, the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox (Later also on Xbox 360 Xbox Classics download service) first-person shooter Black.

Criterion Software Ltd was created to commercialise 3D graphics rendering technology. It was set up by David Lau-Kee and Adam Billyard within Canon's European Research Lab, before being spun out as a majority Canon-owned startup. Criterion Software was a technology company specialising in the development of the RenderWare family of middleware technology, including graphics, AI, audio and physics components. Originally Criterion Games was a division within Criterion Software, set up to develop games, using the Renderware engine, which would act as show cases as to what was possible with the platform. RenderWare is used in such games as Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas, which are developed by Rockstar Games, and the successful Burnout series, developed in house by Criterion Games.

In August 2004, Electronic Arts announced they had acquired Criterion Games and Criterion Software for a rumoured £40 million, taking into account the purchase price and existing debt. This was followed by the release of Black, a first-person shooter set in Eastern Europe, to which they applied the action movie sensibilities characteristic of the Burnout series.

After the purchase,...
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