Former Criterion Games manager Matt Webster founds AAA studio Fuse Games

Matt Webster. Credit: Fuse Games.

Former Criterion Games general manager Matt Webster has announced the founding of Fuse Games, and has told NME why he stepped away from EA to start a new studio with other Criterion veterans.

Announced today (March 16), Fuse Games is based in Guildford, UK, and currently numbers 17 employees.

The studio has already started work on a AAA title with “significant funding”, and has claimed its debut game will fuse “uncompromising attention to game-feel with blockbuster spectacle and player-centric innovations in social gameplay, self-expression, and creativity”.

Speaking to NME, Webster shared more on the direction that Fuse will take for its first game.

“Over the last decade, Fuse’s founding team has had a lot of experience in a variety of genres, with work on games like Battlefield and Battlefront, as well as racers like Burnout and Need For Speed when we were at Criterion,” reflected Webster. “It’s too early to announce what we’re working on at Fuse right now, but we’ll be sticking to the values that have served us well over the years – working fast, rapidly iterating, and letting our team be creative within the genre.”

Need for Speed: Unbound. Credit: EA.
Need for Speed: Unbound. Credit: EA.

While Webster will serve as the studio’s general manager, he is joined by four other co-founders who worked alongside him at Criterion. Steve Uphill will be Fuse’s head of content, Pete Lake will head production, Alan McDairmant is the studio’s head of operations, and finally Andrei Shires will be Fuse’s head of technology.

Fuse’s leadership consists of a number of veterans from EA, who all left Criterion in December 2022. Webster told NME that while the group has had “a fantastic time at EA,” it was time for the developers to look for something fresh.

“I’ve spent my videogames career of more than 30 years [at EA],” the manager shared. “For me personally, I celebrated a milestone birthday last year and started counting just how many games I might have left in my career. I think now is the right time to start something new – we have an incredible amount of veteran knowledge and talent among the leadership team, and we want to open our doors to new talent so we can all learn from each other.”

“Great games are made by great people, and we want Fuse to be a place where new people can join the industry and become future leaders,” he added. “Our studio should be reflective of the audience playing our games.”

In a press release, Webster added that Fuse will look to “inspire and lead the next generation of game developers and game industry leaders”.

In other gaming news, today is the last day that you can play EA’s shooter Battlefield 2042 for free on Steam.

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