It looks like we’re not getting a new Need for Speed, at least not for a couple of years. EA has revealed through a statement to Polygon that they are pausing the development of the newest iteration in the racing franchise and will now be slated to launch sometime in 2023. The studio, Criterion Games, will instead be put in a supporting role in order to assist EA DICE who is currently working on the next Battlefield title which is planned to release sometime this Fall.
EA announces that the next Need For Speed game will be delayed for a year
— Nibel (@Nibellion) March 1, 2021
According to the post, EA’s Chief Studio’s Officer Laura Miele stated that the decision to postpone the Need for Speed entry was due to two major factors. The first being that the conditions of working from home due to the COVID-19 Pandemic are slowing down development overall, which is something that every single studio, and company has been feeling since the pandemic began last year. The second reason was since their recent acquisition Codemasters was already planning to release a racing simulator in the foreseeable future, they didn’t see the need for an additional racing title from another one of their studios in the same time frame.
Miele told Polygon that decision to bring Criterion Games in as support for EA DICE was a “rational call.” Miele also mentioned that Battlefield is “is shaping up great, the team has been working incredibly hard, they pushed hard last year, and yes, we have been working from home.” Miele then added that “And it’s hard, it’s hard to make games from home, and the team [EA DICE] is fatigued a bit.” Miele also stated that DICE Los Angeles, which is supervised by Respawn Entertainment’s Vince Zampella, is also helping out with the development.
Criterion Games was given back the Need for Speed by EA after they reorganized the previous developer, Ghost Games, into a support studio for the entire company. Given that Criterion has assisted EA DICE with previous entries in the Battlefield franchise, this isn’t terribly surprising. While this is a bit on the sad side for Need for Speed fans, they’re still planning on going back to the racing series when this is all said and done. Hopefully, they’ll be able to help EA DICE boost the development for the next Battlefield title, especially since it’s expected by the end of this year.