Criterion Skate or Die Balk Led to More Burnout

Criterion Skate or Die Balk Led to More Burnout

image

If not for a sticky situation involving a skateboarding game remake, Criterion may never have continued the Burnout series.

Criterion Games, of Burnout fame, is now working on EA franchise Need for Speed with the upcoming Hot Pursuit, but first had the chance to get involved with the series more than half-a-decade ago. After walking away from an agreement to develop a remake of classic skateboarding game Skate or Die, a fight between EA and Criterion sent the developer back to Burnout.

Criterion was working for EA after Acclaim, the publisher of Burnout and Burnout 2, went bankrupt. In an interview with GamesTM, Criterion's Alex Ward said: "Criterion started talking to EA in 2002 and they asked if we'd be interested in doing a remake of the old C64 and NES game, Skate Or Die. These guys wanted to make a skateboarding game, so we did it." Criterion also had a project called Need for Speed: Split Second in the works.

The Tony Hawk skateboarding games were big at the time and EA wanted to get in on the action. However, Criterion has one vision for the product, and EA had another. "In Tony Hawk you were always on the board and it was all about tricks and high scores, but I wanted to explore what it was like to just go out for a skate and have that feeling of just doing whatever you want," Ward says. "I wanted to be able to get off the board - this was way back in 2002."

Ward continued: "But the project was apparently subject to all kinds of pushing and pulling at the behest of the publisher. We were told 'you can't just make a Tony Hawk game - it's got to be like Grand Theft Auto,' and that was the first time we were like, 'Really?' 'It's got to be open world.' Well, what does that mean? Nobody really knew."

The dispute eventually led to Criterion walking away from the Skate or Die project, which EA was none too happy with. "We called a meeting with the EA guys, told them we were walking away and they went mad, threatening to sue us, put us out of business... there was a lot of anger and frustration," Ward reveals. "Then we got a call from the Need For Speed guys and they said 'we can't work with you guys any more; you just walked away and there's a shame on your company, so we can't talk to you'."

Everything ended up getting settled and Criterion was instead given the duty of creating Burnout 3: Takedown, followed up by Burnout Revenge and Burnout Paradise in later years. The developer's work must have put it back in the good graces of EA which gave Criterion the task of developing the next version of its yearly street racing franchise. Criterion's take on Need for Speed will get its due on November 16.

Sources: GamesTM and Gamerzines

Permalink

As Burnout 3 and Revenge were a couple of my favorite ps2 games, I'm glad it worked out like that.
However, I wouldn't have minded getting an open world skate or die instead of Burnout Paradise. Was the original open world to begin with? Or is that 360 I'm thinking of?

Thats, intresting...So, this helped spawn the epic which is burnout? I would have never linked to tw together

"make a videogame of a skater in open world like tony hawk but mixed to grand theft auto"

yeah... i dont really think thats gonna be cool, hew the hell would it even work!?

good think everything got settled at the end.

HentMas:
"make a videogame of a skater in open world like tony hawk but mixed to grand theft auto"

yeah... i dont really think thats gonna be cool, hew the hell would it even work!?

good think everything got settled at the end.

I think criterion basically wanted to make the skate series.

OT: Yeah, you tell EA to suck it :P

A world without Burnout 3? I'm sorry, I just can't imagine that.

Yet another loving gesture of the EA game corporation /irony

Thank you EA. For your incompitence. It has birthed 2 of the greatest games of all time.

V8 Ninja:
A world without Burnout 3? I'm sorry, I just can't imagine that.

It's certainly not a world in which I wish to live.

Still, I'm glad Criterion stuck to their guns. If you have a vision for a game, then you make it the way you think it should be made. EA can stick it where the sun don't shine.

I liked Criterion games before I've read this article. Now I love them - Keep it up, guys!

Aww, there was going to be a Skate or Die remake? I loved that game when I was a kid.

I'm glad they walked away from the Skate or Die game if it meant they ended up going back to the Burnout series. I have the first Burnout game for GameCube, and while it was a fun racing game, I think the aspect of the games I've enjoyed the most is the crash mode from later editions. I had many a fun games night playing crash mode with friends in Burnout 3 and Revenge.

Man i love bunout paradise, such a great game in so very many ways.

I forget how evil EA used to be, kind of like activision now, you can just give a great company a game and then go "It has to copy these two popular games! No you can't enact your own vision/innovation/creative freedom! Make me a GTA/Tony Hawk clone now!!"

Criterion should be making more Burnout games...finally making enough to get rid of that Need for Speed franchise altogether...but now Criterion is making Hot Pursuit so it might actually have potential...but still wont be burnout :(

Skate or Die 2 was an adventure game. A very wacky one, but one that could be turned into an open world game. Granted, might not be the best idea, but it could be done.

"Skate Straight!"

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here