Finishing up work on Battlefield 6 means the next Need for Speed game has been delayed, as EA shifts studios around to meet their mid-pandemic needs.
The news emerged from a Polygon interview, in which EA chief studios officer Laura Miele told the outlet that a number of factors made this the most sensible call for the parent organization: work from home conditions mean DICE could use some extra help for this last push, the two studios have worked together several times in the past, and EA still has at least one racing game on the way this year thanks to its purchase of Codemasters.
"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]," Miele told Polygon. "They've worked on [Star Wars] Battlefront, they've worked on Battlefields, and they have a really tight, close collaborative partnership with DICE. I'm really confident that this is going to be a pretty positive win for them."
Miele made sure to point out that this doesn't mean Need for Speed is being taken away from Criterion, which resumed its role as lead developer on the racing franchise last year after a tepid stretch with Ghost Games (now EA Gothenburg). Instead, the next title has been delayed by a year, so now we can expect it to arrive by March 2023 at the latest.
On top of Criterion throwing in for work on Battlefield 6, DICE LA has also been working on creating the game's live service components - so post-release seasons, new content updates, that sort of thing - for more than a year.
According to a leaker, Battlefield 6 will have even more advanced level destruction than before.