Three Fields Entertainment
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||24 February 2014|
Three Fields Entertainment Limited is a British video game development studio. It was founded in February 2014 by Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry, who had previously founded Criterion Games, along with developer Paul Ross who had worked with them under Criterion Games.
Ward and Sperry had founded Criterion Games in 2000 from Criterion Software, the firm that had developed the RenderWare middleware application used in many console titles. Criterion Games was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA) in 2004, becoming the studio's publisher. Among other titles, Criterion was known for the Burnout series which were a series of racing games that placed more emphasis on using collisions to knock out other racers and other aggressive strategies rather than more technical driving.
In 2011, EA assigned the Need for Speed series to Criterion, which were based on more technical driving. Around 2013, EA opted to shift Need for Speed to Ghost Games, and later moved about 80% of the developers at Criterion permanently to Ghost Games, though Criterion still had a consulting role in development. Neither Ward or Sperry were fond of this direction nor the corporate nature under EA; Ward said "We wanted to get back to having fun making games...This is the game business, not the work business." In November 2013, Ward, Sperry, and Paul Ross, one of the developers for Criterion, decided to leave the studio to start anew, though had to wait out for their contracts to expire, in January 2014, before starting any new venture.
The new studio, Three Fields Entertainment, was announced in March 2014. The name was based on the fact that all three founders had skill sets in the same three fields related to game development: design, art and engineering. Several other former Criterion Games developers joined the studio since its founding.
One of their overarching goals for the studio was to develop a spiritual sequel to the Burnout series, specifically focusing on the "Crash" mode, in which players would drive vehicles at high speeds into masses of other vehicles to do as much damage as possible. Their first game, Dangerous Golf, announced in January 2016 and released in June 2016, served as a stepping stone for the studio towards this goal; similar to the "Crash" mode, the player would hit a golf ball in an enclosed space to do as much damage as possible. The title aided the studio in learning the Unreal Engine, with support from Epic Games' nearby Guildford studio, and incorporate middleware physics engines to make the destruction realistic.
Three Fields' third game is Danger Zone, which aimed to achieve the vision of the "Crash" mode spiritual successor. It builds atop the knowledge they had from Dangerous Golf to recreate the "Crash" mode for modern computer and console systems. Danger Zone was announced in April 2017 and released in May 2017.
The following year, the studio announced its sequel Danger Zone 2, which adds in more driving segments along routes inspired by real-world highways, for anticipated release in July 2018. Alongside this, Three Fields revealed Dangerous Driving, a closed-course racing game that includes the various crashing elements from these previous titles, with a planned release in early 2019.
- Dangerous Golf, 2016 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Lethal VR, 2016 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4)
- Danger Zone, 2017 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Danger Zone 2, 2018 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- Dangerous Driving, 2019 (Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
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- Davison, John (26 April 2017). "'Burnout' Series Creator Talks Remaking Crash Mode for 'Danger Zone'". Glixel. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (21 June 2018). "Criterion founders reveal two new games". Eurogamer. Retrieved 21 June 2018.