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Alex Ward Explains a Situation That Led to his Departure From Criterion

March 11, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Since Alex Ward left Criterion, both he and Fiona Sperry have formed Three Fields Entertainment, a new studio that will “make games for all platforms where we can self-publish.”

Back when Alex originally left Criterion, the only thing he would say is, “Just decided to start afresh and form a new games company with Fiona Sperry.” Over the past couple of days, however, Ward has gone into detail on his Twitter account about a situation that negatively impacted his experience with EA and Nintendo, but he notes that it is “yet another storm in a teacup really. And [Need for Speed: Most Wanted for Wii U] is certainly NOT the main reason I left EA.” Ward then added, “Plus it’s two years ago and much water has passed under the bridge since. I just care about great games.”

Here’s the full story of what happened with Need for Speed: Most Wanted on Wii U:

“Totally wrong. I did [support Nintendo hardware]. Second, I complained when the company didn’t even bother to press the discs with our game on.”

“Hey, we worked our arses off. Neither [Nintendo] or EA gave a shit about it. A group of us did try….”

“Bitch and moan at the publishers not the developers.”

“We just did the coding. Like we had any choice over when it was released? Or the price? Everyone is so quick to blame the developers. Folks worked through New Year to deliver that. We tried to do our best. We even flew to [Nintendo] to personally demo in a bid for [marketing] support. There was none.”

“The game was not even physically released genitally in Europe. Members of the team could not even buy their own game. Do you think we were happy about that? Idris, Rob, Chris, Paul, Jim did what was asked of them. Everyone else let us down.”

“Stuff like that pissed me off, hence I left EA and have started my own company using my savings.”

Someone on Twitter tried to sum this all up by saying, “Am I right: You and your team put a lot of effort into making the game only to have it flushed by a petty business battle.” Alex replied with, “Something like that. We did our bit as best we could.”