The new studio set up by Core Design founders Jeremy Heath-Smith and Adrian Smith has become the latest development team to sign up to use Criterion's Renderware middleware technology in its games.
Circle Studios, which is working on two games aimed at current generation consoles, plans to use some of its own bespoke tools along with the Renderware platform, and will be working closely with Criterion's technical and support teams throughout development.
"The industry is not about technology any more - it's about creativity," mused Circle Studios managing director Jeremy Heath-Smith. "Our philosophy as a developer is to concentrate on creativity, gameplay and content... In order to achieve this we cannot afford to continually chase technology and reinvent the wheel for every game or format we work on."
Renderware has built up significant acceptance within the development industry over the past few years, with many major developers now using the platform for their games. One of the most recent hit titles to use Renderware is currently the all-formats number one in the UK - Sega's Sonic Heroes, created by the legendary Sonic Team studio.
"Building technologies in-house as a point of pride is no longer commercially sensible today, and nor will it be viable as we move towards the next generation," according to Criterion CEO David Lau-Kee, commenting on the new deal with Circle Studios.
It's not yet known what nature the projects in development at Circle Studios will take, although further details are expected shortly. The studio was formed by Jeremy Heath-Smith and brother Adrian after Heath-Smith was forced to resign from his position on the Eidos board and as head of Core Design following the disastrous critical reception to the massively delayed Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness last summer.