Criterion Games

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Criterion Studios (or Software) was founded in 1993 and shipped its first game, Scorched Planet, 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, as well as the reboots of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted. In 2004, Criterion was sold by their owner Canon to Electronic Arts.

1st Logo (December 31, 1996)

Visuals: 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: 2D animation.

Audio: The dog snuffling and whimpering, then a sudden roar.

Availability: Only seen on Scorched Planet.

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

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

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on Redline Racer and Sub Culture.

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

Visuals: 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: A still, computerized graphic.

Audio: None for the still version.

Availability: Can be seen on several games, such as Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing and Trickstyle.

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

Visuals: On a black background, there is a glossy black picture of the dog, looking at us. The name "Criterion" in red is below the dog, with "GAMES" in blue underneath. The logo shines, then blows to pieces.


  • The early version has a white background.
  • The logo was seen once without blowing up.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The sound of the explosion. None or the game's opening theme for the white variant.

Availability: The white version appeared on AirBlade. Also seen on the Burnout series, except for version 1.6-1.9 of Burnout Paradise and Burnout Paradise Remastered; Criterion Games has changed their logo by then.

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-August 21, 2018)

Visuals: Many red and white lights come and flash on the screen, eventually leaving "Criteriongames" (with "Criterion" in white and "games" in black) 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.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Some kinds of dark electronic sounds, although the newer variant has a lighter sound.

Availability: It first appeared on Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box (with the exception of the PC version) and the trailer for said game. It also appears on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010) and Most Wanted (2012). The newer variant can be seen on Burnout: Paradise Remastered and other games from the company.

6th Logo (June 19, 2020-)

Visuals: On an indigo background is various coloured lines forming stylized text reading "Criterion" in red, pink, purple, blue, and teal. The logo then cuts to black.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: Various car sounds including a car's ignition starting, metal denting, and tires screeching.

Availability: First seen on the Nintendo Switch version of Burnout Paradise Remastered.