This morning it was revealed that the next Need For Speed game will be delayed for a year. If you’re feeling a bit of déjà vu, don’t worry, there isn’t a glitch in the matrix.
It was just last week that we reported that Gran Turismo 7 is also being delayed due to COVID-related development issues.
While we certainly agree that a delayed game is ultimately better than a rushed game, news of two major racing game franchises being delayed within six days admittedly isn’t awesome.
The official release date for the next Need For Speed game was never actually revealed, but many expected the game to release sometime in 2021. Now, it seems that the game will target a 2022 date.
So, is COVID striking again? Actually, not entirely. While, the pandemic forcing developers to work from home is certainly a factor, the direct cause for the delay is a re-allocation of resources.
In an interview with Polygon, EA Chief Studio Officer Laura Miele confirmed that Criterion (the team formerly working on the next Need For Speed) is being re-assigned to help the DICE development team work on the next Battlefield game.
If you’re unaware, Battlefield is a first-person shooter or “shooty-shooty game” as the kids call them (they don’t call them that).
Polygon surmises from Miele’s comments that EA’s recent acquisition of Codemasters made the decision to shift the Criterion team an easier call to make. We’re inclined to agree with that.
Though, this isn’t to say that Codemasters will be taking over Need For Speed. Miele promised that once Criterion is done supporting DICE with the next Battlefield game, they’ll return to work on Need For Speed.
“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.” Miele said of Criterion.
It was revealed that Codemasters is already set to deliver one racing game for EA this year. With their acquisition deal officially closing this spring, we would venture to guess that game will likely be F1 2021.
Additionally, it was confirmed that the next Need For Speed game will come to current consoles (Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5) as well as previous consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4).
It’s unclear just how far along Criterion was in their Need For Speed game’s development, though we got a very early concept peak last year during the EA Play livestream. The images revealed a very convincing photo-realistic depiction of a Porsche 911 GT2 and a 240SX drift car.
The effect was stunning, though it is unlikely that the cars would look that good during gameplay. Either way, that quick glimpse had us very excited for what Criterion was cooking up.
Now it looks like we’ll have to wait longer. However, on the bright-side it looks like 2022 is going to be a big year for racing games with Gran Turismo 7, Need For Speed, (possibly) the next Forza Motorsport, and whatever Codemasters might be working on all set to hit.
What do you think about Need For Speed being delayed so that Battlefield could hit its target? Sound off in the comments below or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.