Electronic Arts have just revealed that the next Need for Speed has been delayed by at least a year as they pull Criterion to help DICE on developing Battlefield 6, which has apparently been slowed down by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The next NFS game is now expected sometime in 2022.

Speaking in an interview, Chief Studio Officer at EA, Laura Miele, revealed that Criterion will now act as a supporting role for DICE on Battlefield 6 (or whatever it’s going to be called). The recent Codemasters acquisition also means that EA will still have a foot in the racing genre, so it made sense to delay the next Need for Speed.

[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 Miele. “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 may be most well known for the Need for Speed or Burnout series, but they have helped DICE before on Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 as well as Battlefield 5, so they’re not necessarily unsuited for the role.

That doesn’t mean the Need for Speed franchise is on the way out either, as Miele reiterated to fans that they still plan on releasing new NFS games in the future made by Criterion, and won’t be handing over the franchise to newly acquired studio Codemasters.

[Criterion] own the Need for Speed franchise; that’s why they managed the remaster,” Miele said. “Anything that’s happening within the Need for Speed brand, they are responsible for, or things come through them to ensure that they’re on board with it.

The next Need for Speed was expected to release sometime during the EA 2022 fiscal year, which is anywhere between April 1st 2021 and March 31st 2022. Now that has been pushed back a year, so expect the new NFS game to release sometime after April 1st 2022.

Aside from that, we should be hearing more about BF6 soon as the game will be officially revealed this Spring. All we know so far is that it promises a "never-before-seen scale" in a Battlefield game.

What do you think? Are you excited for Battlefield 6? Are you excited for the next Need for Speed game? Are you happy the NFS franchise is back in the hands of Criterion? And are you happy to wait for it if it means a better Battlefield VI? Let us know!

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