Alex fell in love with videogames when he first saw the attract mode to “Moon Cresta” in the foyer of the local swimming baths in Stoke-on-Trent in 1979. The first home computer game he ever played was “Sniper” on a friend’s black and white Sinclair ZX81 Microcomputer in 1981.
At Christmas 1982 he received a 3.5K Commodore VIC-20 Home Computer with a tape deck and an 8K expansion board and was a keen follower of the burgeoning UK home computer scene of the early 1980’s – software houses such as Rabbit, Quicksilva, Llamasoft, Ultimate and Anirog.
Two years later, he upgraded to the Commodore 64, complete with floppy disk drive and dot matrix printer. He owned every single issue of Newsfield’s “Zzap!64” Magazine and was a staunch fan of games from Epyx Software, Lucasfilm, Gremlin Graphics and Ocean Software.
The day he left School in 1988 he bought a Nintendo Entertainment System complete with Light Gun and the utterly useless R.O.B The Robot. During A-Levels at the end of the 1980s he discovered the import games scene in the UK with the purchase of a Japanese NEC PC Engine. The following year he traded both systems in for an imported Japanese Game Boy – one of the first available in the UK – and a selection of cartridges.
Alex studied Psychology at the University of Plymouth in 1990. He spent half a year studying abroad in North America and during this time he set a lot of High Scores on vintage arcade games in bus stations and pizza parlours. After a near fatal car crash cut short his time in America, he returned to Plymouth to complete his degree, but read a lot more of EDGE, GamePro and Nintendo Magazine System and studied the games of the newly released Super Nintendo Entertainment System more closely than most.
After University he took a job with a local company writing trade brochures for mobile telephones and fax machines. At this time he ‘invested’ in a Panasonic 3DO Multi Player and a selection of games from EA such as “Road Rash”, “Shockwave” and “Road and Track Presents…The Need for Speed!”. Office work was boring so he applied for every job advertised in the back of EDGE.
In August 1995 he joined the London office of Acclaim Entertainment. Between 1997 and 1999 he worked in an A&R role at Acclaim travelling throughout Europe and Asia meeting developers and looking at games in development.
In 1999 he left the world of games publishing and joined the development division of Canon-owned Criterion Software in Guildford, Surrey.
He formed leading European developer Criterion Games with Fiona Sperry the following year in January 2000.
A series of hits followed including “Airblade” for Sony Computer Entertainment and “Burnout” and “Burnout 2 Point of Impact” for Acclaim Entertainment.
After the acquisition of Criterion Games by Electronic Arts in 2005, Alex directed the multi award winning “Burnout 3:Takedown” “Burnout Revenge”, explosive first person shooter “Black” and pushed the boundaries of downloadable content with the pioneering open world racer “Burnout Paradise.”
Criterion stepped in and rebooted the ailing Need For Speed series with the release of “Need For Speed Hot Pursuit” in 2010 and 2012’s “Need For Speed Most Wanted.” Both games featured an innovative new social gaming feature called “Autolog.”
A new IP codenamed “Adventure” was Alex’s final project for Criterion and EA in 2013.
Alex formed Three Fields Entertainment in 2014 with a view to getting back to the heart of game making.
At Three Fields Alex is excited about how games can make people laugh, and how online play brings people together to create memorable play experiences.