Eletronic Arts has confirmed that the next game in the Need for Speed franchise will only be released in 2022. The game has been delayed for Criterion Games to assist in the development of Battlefield 6, which is expected to hit the market in the second half of this year with a focus on the new generation of consoles.
Criterion Games will act as a support studio for EA DICE, which leads the development of games in the Battlefield series. The next title in the franchise will be the first released with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in mind, showcasing the power of the Frostbite graphics engine in the new generation.
Despite being known for racing games, Criterion also has experience in shooting games and developed the classic Black, in addition to having helped DICE in other projects in the past. The studio resumed the Need for Speed franchise last year after Eletronic Arts shut down developer Ghost Games.
Launch of Codemasters at the end of the year
Need for Speed Heat is the latest game from EA’s car franchise and hit the market in 2019. The game did well in the reviews, but the publisher stopped producing new content for the title even before the launch was a year old.
According to head of studio at Eletronic Arts, Laura Miele, the postponement does not mean that fans will be without a new racing game from the publisher. The company said the recently acquired Codemasters studio, which specializes in car games, will launch a new project in the second half of the year.
The executive said the Codemasters game will supply EA’s presence in the racing game market and the postponement may be positive for the Need for Speed franchise. After all, the launch of two titles of the same genre could generate cannibalization in sales, as happened with Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.