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Need for Speed delayed for a year as EA shifts gears to aid Battlefield

Electronic Arts fans probably figured they’d be overwhelmed with racing games following the acquisition of famed British studio Codemasters, but they didn’t probably bank on Need for Speed falling by the wayside.

EA has confirmed the first version of the famed NfS franchise for next-gen consoles is being delayed for an entire year. The studio behind the game, Criterion Games, has been enlisted to assist EA DICE on the new Battlefield game set to land on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S next year.

The news, which will be a blow to Need for Speed fans who now have to wait until 2023 for the game, was confirmed by Laura Miele, EA’s chief studios officer in an interview with Polygon. Previously, EA had promised to get a Need for Speed game out by March 2022.

Miele blamed the hardships caused by teams having to work from home during the pandemic for the delay, which we’ve heard from several studios struggling to get the games ready on time.

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She said: “[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. 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,” Miele added. “We’re playing to win; we’re playing to put a great Battlefield game out in the market.”

EA was keen to point out that this isn’t a sign there’s wider problems. Last week the company announced it was abandoning work on the redevelopment of Anthem in order to focus on other projects. It also said the decision to delay the launch of Need for Speed makes sense given there’ll be a release from the Codemasters stable in the meantime. Miele said that Need for Speed is not being shuttered.

“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].” she added.

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