Criterion co-founders Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry have both left the studio, EA has confirmed. The pair leave to form a new games company.

In a statement provided to Polygon last week, EA thanked Ward and Sperry for "their many contributions through the years and wish them well in their future endeavours."

Criterion is now being headed up by studio veteran Matt Webster, with work already having started on a new IP. Webster previously served as senior producer on Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit and Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

"The incredibly creative and talented team at Criterion are hard at work on a new project for next-gen consoles as new IP continues to be a major priority across EA," the publisher added. "Matt Webster is leading development of the new game and the Criterion studio moving forward. Matt has been part of Criterion for years and has an exciting vision for this new game."

Commenting on their departure, Ward said they had "Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company". He later added that it was "totally our own decision to leave. We wanted to own our own company. Simple really."

The pair have yet to announce details of their new company.

Ward and Sperry's departure brings the headcount at Criterion down even further, following the studio's split to form Ghost UK in mid-2013. Around 15-20 people are currently thought to be employed by the studio.

Source:, @AlexanderJWard