Publisher Electronic Arts has delayed the next Need for Speed game to 2022, as developer Criterion Games is now supporting DICE on Battlefield 6.
The effects of the ongoing pandemic alongside EA's acquisition of Codemasters – which secured it a racing game for 2021 – both played into Criterion being reassigned to Battlefield 6 and its Need for Speed title being delayed. Both franchises are in a good spot, according to the publisher, with Criterion being set to return to NFS in 2022.
"There’s no way we would have made a decision like this without including [Criterion] and discussing this with them first, and the impact that they could have on [Battlefield]," Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele told Polygon.
“They’ve worked on [Star Wars] Battlefront, they’ve worked on Battlefields, and they have a really tight, close collaborative partnership with DICE. I’m really confident that this is going to be a pretty positive win for them.”
Criterion Games worked on Battlefield 5's Firestorm battle royale mode, which had a solid foundation but sadly fell by the wayside.
Dice Los Angeles has also been working on Battlefield 6 "for over a year, and they’re doing some really exceptional things in live service," according to Miele, who also admitted that the studio "is fatigued a bit," due to working from home.
While Electronic Arts has yet to officially reveal the new Battlefield game, a previous leak suggests that it will take quite a bit of inspiration from Battlefield 3 while supporting "around 128 players."
"We’re going to put all the resources we have on this,” Miele concluded. Judging by the attention Battlefield 6 is getting, it sounds like the publisher is looking to avoid the mixed reception that Battlefield 5 received.
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