Criterion Games

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Descriptions by

Video captures courtesy of
MartinIgna SalasV and Broken Saw


Criterion Studios (or Software) was founded in 1993 and shipped its first game, Scorched Earth, in 1996. Soon after, they changed their public name to Criterion Games and began focusing on their famous Burnout franchise, which they continue to develop to this day. They are also responsible for the widely acclaimed game engine "RenderWare", which was especially popular in the 2000's. In 2004, Criterion was sold by their owner Canon to Electronic Arts.

1st Logo (December 31, 1996)

Criterion Studios (1996).jpeg

Logo: A black dog walks into an orange background. It stops, looks at us and turns its head left and right. Then the dog suddenly opens its mouth wide and roars. After such a startling action, it turns back and the word "CRiterion" in a decorative font flies from under the dog's mouth to its permanent place.

Technique: The dog's movements. The only flaw is the intense orange colour in the background.

Music/Sounds: The dog snuffling and whimpering, then a sudden roar.

Availability: Only seen on Scorched Planet.

2nd Logo (November 11, 1997-September 10, 1998)

Criterion Studios (1997).jpeg

Logo: The Criterion dog is placed over a white background. The stacked words "CRiterion Studios" are under the dog in a decorative orange font.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extremely rare. Appears on Redline Racer and Sub Culture.

3rd Logo (September 9, 1999-December 31, 2000)

Criterion Studios (1999).jpeg

Logo: The familiar dog is placed inside a round-corner orange rectangle with a double mismatched border. The words "criterion studios" are below, with "criterion" placed on a white field.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None for the still version, ocean sounds for Deep Fighter.

Availability: Rare. Can be seen on several games, such as Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing and Trickstyle. The underwater picture is seen on Deep Fighter for Dreamcast.

4th Logo (November 1, 2001-January 22, 2008)

Logo: On a black background, we see a black picture of the dog, looking at us. The name "Criterion" is below the dog, with "GAMES" underneath. The logo shines, then blows to pieces.


  • The early version has a white background.
  • The logo was seen once without blowing up.
  • On Black, the logo appeared in gold with interlacing.
  • On Burnout Revenge, the logo is normal, until two cars crash towards each other, creating a big explosion.

Technique: The logo shines and/or blows up. None for the white variant.

Music/Sounds: The sound of the explosion.

Availability: Uncommon. The white version appeared on AirBlade. Also seen on the Burnout series, except for Burnout Paradise - Criterion Games changed their logo by then - and Burnout and Burnout 2: Point of Impact, as they were both published by Acclaim Entertainment before they went bankrupt.

Legacy: This logo has achieved its popularity due to being present on the commercially successful Burnout franchise, especially with the Burnout Revenge variant.

5th Logo (February 5, 2009-March 2018)

Logo: Many red and white lights come and flash on the screen, eventually leaving "Criteriongames" on a red background, which slowly zooms in.

Variant: A newer variant shows the same sequence happening, except "games" is omitted and the animation is more high-quality. On Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010), it appears after the Electronic Arts logo glitches out. after a few seconds, a few red and blue lights pass through and the logo dashes out, transitioning to the red HOT PURSUIT words that makes the game logo. The same happens on the beta version, but the logo shifts onto the "Chameleonengine" words and a chameleon appears.

Technique: The lights flashing all around.

Music/Sounds: Some kinds of dark electronic sounds, although the newer variant has a lighter sound. On Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010), there's an orchestral fragment transitioning onto a drum bit, then onto THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS' Edge of The Earth.

Availability: It first appeared on Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box and the trailer for said game. Also on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010). The newer variant can be seen on Burnout: Paradise Remastered and other games from the company.

Legacy: This is simply plain and boring compared to the previous and more popular logo.

6th Logo (March 2018-)

Logo: TBA.

Technique: TBA.

Variant: In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, The Electronic Arts, Criterion and Stellar Entertainment flash in red and blue lights, then are fully revealed in white, before fading away, one after the other. then the red HOT PURSUIT words dashes by, following the rest of the game's logo.

Music/Sounds: TBA.

Availability: Current.


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