The next Battlefield game is due out this fall, and to make the most of it – to try and do better than the likable but too often shaky Battlefield V – EA has tapped Criterion to assist DICE and DICE LA. As a result, the new main-series Need for Speed game is coming later than expected – in fiscal year 2023.
The news circulated in a publicly-released letter to EA employees written by chief studios officer Laura Miele. “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,” Miele said. “We’re going to give Criterion the time to reach the game’s full promise.”
As for what’s going on with 2021’s Battlefield game, EA has “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.”
“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,” she said.
Stellar Entertainment released Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered last year. Maybe we’ll get another Criterion remaster to help tide fans over? It feels like only a matter of time for 2012’s Most Wanted to be revived on current platforms.
Miele stressed that the transition to remote work played a role in the decision to call in an assist from Criterion, noting: “…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.”
It’s also worth reiterating that EA picked up Codemasters and everything that entails.
As Miele points out, “Codemasters has several launches coming in the next year, bringing players some outstanding new racing games in our [fiscal year 2022].” In the meantime, there’s always room for more Need for Speed remasters; the last one, Hot Pursuit Remastered, launched in November 2020.
Best-case scenario, the next Battlefield and Need for Speed titles will live up to their potential even if the latter takes more time than expected. It feels like DICE needs a big win here on PS5 and Xbox Series X.