EA reassigns Criterion to work on Battlefield 6, pushing the new Need for Speed game back to 2022.
Photo credit: FRT Luan on Twitter
Game publisher Electronic Arts had a lot on their plate for 2021: The announcement of a new Need for Speed as well as an addition to the shooter franchise Battlefield had fans of both genres excited for the coming year. However, EA has now retracted the NfS title from the upcoming releases. Instead, developer Criterion will shift its work focus to support EA DICE with the ongoing work on the new Battlefield game.
“It’s hard to make games from home”
The delay of the new addition to the NfS franchise depended on several factors. In an interview with Polygon, EA’s chief studios officer Laura Miele talked about the company’s decision and revealed that especially hardships imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic were a deciding factor.
[Battlefield] is shaping up great, the team has been working incredibly hard, they pushed hard last year, and yes, we have been working from home. And it’s hard; it’s hard to make games from home, and the [EA DICE] team is fatigued a bit.
However, with the current decision by EA, Miele assures fans not to worry about the quality of the company’s new releases. Especially with Battlefield, EA owns a franchise with “incredible potential” that they are not planning to waste. According to Miele, Criterion is exactly the reinforcement DICE needs to put “a great Battlefield game out in the market”:
They’ve worked on [Star Wars] Battlefront, they’ve worked on Battlefields, and they have a really tight, close collaborative partnership with DICE. I’m really confident that this is going to be a pretty positive win for them.
What about sim racing fans?
The decision to reassign Criterion Games to working on Battlefield might at first seem like a loss for virtual racers, as they are denied a new NfS title for the foreseeable future. However, an important factor for EA to make this move was their acquisition of Codemasters at the end of last year. The successful racing game developer is still in for at least their annual release of a Formula 1 game – and this will now happen under the name of EA as well. Seeing it that way, there will in fact be a racing game released by EA this year. This made the decision to shift Criterion’s work focus far more rational from a business point of view.
The Need for Speed title itself is definitely not off the table. Criterion will supposedly resume their work on the racing game in 2022.
What do you think of EA’s decision to delay their Need for Speed release? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!