No Need For Speed Until 2022, Game Delayed So Dev Can Help On Battlefield 6

EA says it's going to put "all the resources we have" on the new Battlefield game.

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The next Need for Speed game has been delayed to 2022. EA confirmed that Criterion Games has been called in to help DICE with the next Battlefield game, in what EA Studios boss Laura Miele calls a "bold move" to help the project finish coming together.

Miele told Polygon that the fact that EA just bought racing game studio Codemasters, which will release a new game this year, made it easier to reassign Criterion to Battlefield. [Update: EA has now released a statement with commentary from Miele about the news; you can see it below]

"[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," she said. "And it's hard; it's hard to make games from home, and the [EA DICE] team is fatigued a bit. We have a great game and some incredible potential with this game. We're playing to win; we're playing to put a great Battlefield game out in the market."

Criterion already has a lot of familiarity with Battlefield, as the studio helped develop Battlefield V's battle royale mode, Firestorm. Additionally, Criterion worked with DICE on Star Wars: Battlefront, so Miele said she sees this as a positive for Criterion.

"I'm really confident that this is going to be a pretty positive win for them," she said.

Miele also teased the new Battlefield game, saying it will be a "love letter to our fans." She also said EA is not holding back when it comes to spending to make sure it's done right.

"We're going to put all the resources we have on this," Miele said.

This new Battlefield game is confirmed to launch in holiday 2021. EA will properly announce it sometime this spring, though a date for the reveal hasn't been confirmed yet.

In the statement, Miele said the team recently saw the first draft of Battlefield 6's announcement trailer. "It's shaping up to be a truly amazing first look at this groundbreaking game. I think fans are going to love it!" Miele said.

Progress on the new Battlefield game is shaping up very well, it seems, as EA management has said it's well ahead of schedule. In fact, no Battlefield game ever has been this far along in its development cycle at this point before launch, management said. This is a big deal because EA has acknowledged various missteps with Battlefield V that contributed to its underperformance.

"Our upcoming Battlefield game is coming together to be an exceptional game, not just for this year but also for the future of this powerful brand. The project is tracking towards the franchise’s earliest Alpha, the gameplay is at an unprecedented scale, and we are taking full advantage of the technology in the next-gen consoles. The team has done an incredible job despite the challenges of working from home. We want to build on our position of strength, focus on the opportunity in front of us, and set our game makers up for success to deliver the best experience possible to our players this fall. So, we are making a bold move - Criterion is joining DICE and DICE L.A. to focus on Battlefield. Criterion and DICE have a strong history of working together, and we’re confident this partnership will make a great game even better.

With the addition of Codemasters, we also have a massive opportunity to expand EA’s racing strategy. Codemasters has several launches coming in the next year, bringing players some outstanding new racing games in our FY22. Criterion is one of the strongest racing studios in the industry, and the work they have accomplished on the next Need For Speed™ is truly inspired and will breathe new life into one of our most storied brands. We’re going to give Criterion the time to reach the game's full promise and deliver it in FY23.

We are close to the one-year mark since we all began working from home. We’ve accomplished a lot, have learned a lot, and these things are now informing our path forward. One of the key learnings over the past year is it does take more time to make games from home, and we have to balance that need with team health. The best way to set our teams up for success in this environment is to be focused and ensure our biggest projects have the resources they need to deliver for our players. We’re making a bold move for our teams to fully capture the opportunity in front of us with Battlefield, while maintaining the same focus on health and wellbeing that we’ve had from day one. We know our teams want to deliver amazing games for our players, and we want to do everything we can in service of this.

We have an exceptional year ahead with our next Battlefield, so we thank everyone for coming together with the energy and determination to do something special. We’ve recently seen the first version of the reveal trailer for Battlefield and it’s shaping up to be a truly amazing first look at this groundbreaking game. I think fans are going to love it!

Thanks to all of your hard work, we have strong momentum and can make this move to deliver a great Battlefield in the fall and maintain our overall organic growth plans for the next fiscal year. With more than 35 different projects being developed today, including many fan favorites, it’s an exciting time to be part of our team at Electronic Arts.

On a personal note, I’m inspired by the camaraderie and partnership that is happening across our company. It’s a strong reminder of what makes being here so special."

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