EA has shifted Criterion Games off of its current Need for Speed project to help EA DICE with development on the next Battlefield game.This game, which is currently untitled, is expected to release this Fall on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and it seems DICE needed some extra help getting the game ready for that release, according to a new report from Polygon. EA insists that Criterion Games will return to development of its Need for Speed title in 2022, though.EA made the call to have Criterion work with DICE on the next Battlefield project due to pandemic-related working conditions and because of the fact that following the Codemasters acquisition made last month, EA will have at least one racing game release this year — likely its annual Formula One title. EA chief studios officer, Laura Miele, told Polygon that neither the Battlefield franchise or the Need for Speed franchise are in trouble.”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 said. “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.”
As far as the Need for Speed franchise goes, Miele told Polygon that Criterion owns the Need for Speed franchise, which is why they managed the recent remaster of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and why the studio is responsible for the next project in the series.