Electronic Arts is set to delay the next Need for Speed game into 2022.
In a recent interview with Polygon, EA’s chief studio officer detailed that the company would be moving Criterion Games from the upcoming racing title to support EA Dice on the next Battlefield.
Criterion Games, developers of Need For Hot Pursuit, have previously aided DICE in the development of Battlefield V‘s Firestorm and Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Their recent transfer back onto the as-yet-untitled Battlefield game comes just weeks after EA finalised their acquisition of racing game developer, Codemasters (Dirt 5).
Speaking with Polygon, EA CSO Laura Miele reaffirmed that Need for Speed would remain with Criterion, commenting that the England-based developers “owned” the franchise. The direction of the long-lived racing series shifted after the middling reception to some of the more recent entries, helmed by Ghost Games.
Despite a new direction, however, the release of Codemasters’ yearly F1 title neutralised the urgency for EA to release another racing game within 2021. Instead, the company is proving itself eager to support the upcoming Battlefield which will be the first to benefit from next-gen hardware.
Miele went onto hint at a slowed and arduous development process for the Battlefield team:
“I think that there’s been, you know, fatigue and some burnout, working from home. A lot of that even has to do with just the needs that people have with their families; some people are taking care of their kids at home [while they work]. So, our productivity is not as high, and then the creative connection and creative energy isn’t as high when they’re working from home.”
While the delay is an unwelcome surprise to Need for Speed fans, Criterion Games will return to the development of the 25th entry of the franchise after the launch of the next Battlefield – which is slated for a late 2021 release.