Criterion Software is a game company specialising in the development of RenderWare family of middleware technology, including graphics, AI, audio and physics components. RenderWare is used in such games as Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which are developed by Rockstar Games, and the successful Burnout series, developed in house by Criterion Games, a division of Criterion Software.
They have recently released Black, a first-person shooter set in Eastern Europe, to which they applied the action movie sensibilities characteristic of the Burnout series.
In July 2004, Criterion Software and Criterion Games were acquired by Electronic Arts from Canon Inc. for an undisclosed sum, that was rumoured to be 100 million dollars, taking into the purchase price and existing debt. Criterion Software Ltd was created to commercialise 3D graphics rendering technology created by Canon's European Research Lab. The two co-founders were both previously employed by Canon.
After the purchase, both Criterion and EA declared that RenderWare would continued to be made available to third party customers. However, some clients decided it was too risky to rely on technology owned by a competitor. EA has since withdrawn RenderWare from the commercial middleware market, although it is increasingly used by EA's internal developers.
In the Summer of 2006, after a protracted stay of execution, the company decided to close their Derby satellite office, making all oProxy-Connection: keep-alive Cache-Control: max-age=0
their programmers and support staff redundant. It is allegedly, although widely, considered the same fate will befall the Guildford site as operations are switched to EA's other Surrey-based sites.