Bad news for racing game fans: The new Need for Speed has been delayed, to come out some time next year. In the meantime, its developers will be working on the new Battlefield game, which hasn’t been revealed, but is scheduled for its usual fall release slot.
Criterion, the developer working on Need for Speed (which regained developmental control of the franchise last year from Ghost Games) will work with Battlefield’s primary development studio, DICE. Laura Miele, chief studio officer at EA, told Polygon that the publisher wants to bolster DICE’s ranks, as the studio is overtaxed from the effort of developing Battlefield during the pandemic. She added that the two studios have collaborated before, and sees it as “a pretty positive win” for Criterion.
According to Polygon, part of the rationale behind this is that Codemasters, which was just acquired by EA, is already making a racing game this year — though which one, I’m not sure, as the developer put out both F1 2020 and Dirt 5 last year. But regardless, given that Codemasters is the racing game studio, if they’re making a racing game to release this year, it might be smart to wait on Need for Speed, at least from a publisher’s perspective.
EA seems to be consolidating its projects to get its most profitable games out the door. Last week it officially put the boot in on the Anthem redesign, which would have reworked Bioware’s most controversial project into something playable, in favor of having the studio work on Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles — it also canceled multiplayer in the latter, presumably to pour more resources into the single-player campaign. It also reportedly canceled Gaia, a game that had been in development for six years but was never officially revealed or titled, but which reportedly would have been a massive game.