EA delays Need for Speed by one year, reassigns Criterion Games to Battlefield 6.

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DICE is getting a helping hand for its upcoming, highly anticipated shooter.

EA has decided to place its next game Need for Speed on the back burner to focus on Battlefield 6. Criterion Games, who had been working on the next-generation NFS experience, have now been reassigned to assist DICE in developing the upcoming Battlefield game that will be released later this holiday season.

 

Criterion Games quickly got to work on remastering 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit after being put in charge of the racing franchise last year. The studio’s next-gen vision for the series would have come to fruition in 2021, but it’s now been tasked by EA to help DICE in finishing off the upcoming Battlefield game.

Although first-person shooter development was ahead of ‘internal milestones,’ as EA CEO Andrew Wilson told investors last month, the decision to roll over Criterion’s resources to prioritise Battlefield 6 comes in the wake of the challenging working conditions imposed by the ongoing pandemic and the fact that EA’s $1.2 billion Codemasters acquisition will hold at least one racing game.

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“[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,” said Laura Miele, EA’s chief studio officer, in an interview with Polygon. “And it’s hard; it’s hard to make games from home, and the [EA DICE] team is fatigued a bit,” she added.

EA also knows that the next Battlefield needs to deliver something special after the underwhelming performance of Battlefield V in 2018. While there have been rumours of a Battlefield 3 and a 4-like modern-day setup to make a comeback, EA has stabbed on maps with unprecedented scale and next-generation destruction that could see up to 128 players in a match.

A full revelation has been planned for Spring, so the fans of Battlefield won’t have to wait much longer. Meanwhile, those looking to fill up the next-gen Need for Speed will have to wait until Criterion can return to the driving seat for a 2022 release.

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