EA delays the next Need for Speed to focus on Battlefield

Criterion Games is helping out with the next Battlefield game, which is due out in the fall.

EA/Criterion Games

Although EA previously said it would release the next Need for Speed and Battlefield games by March 2022, that won't be entirely the case. The publisher is delaying the upcoming Need for Speed by a year as its developer, Criterion Games, is temporarily helping out EA DICE on Battlefield.

The title of the next Battlefield game hasn't been revealed, but it will arrive in the fall, EA chief studios officer Laura Miele told Polygon. Following the publisher's purchase of Codemasters, EA already has a racing game coming out this year, the next entry in the F1 series. Along with the shift to working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that made the decision a logical one. Criterion previously collaborated with DICE on the Star Wars Battlefront series and the battle royale mode in Battlefield 5.

Criterion took over development on Need for Speed in 2020 after three tepidly received entries from Ghost Games. It previously worked on the series, and it remastered Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit last year. Once the studio has finished work on Battlefield, it will return to the Need for Speed game, which is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as other platforms.

Although Miele didn't reveal any other details about the next Battlefront just yet, she said that it'd be "a love letter to our fans." She noted that EA is putting "all the resources we have on this."

The temporary reassignment of Criterion comes amid a broader restructuring at EA. Last week, the publisher canceled the overhaul of Anthem and it reportedly shut down work on a game called Gaia after six years of development. The publisher also ditched its plan to have multiplayer elements in the next Dragon Age game, according to a report.