Need for Speed developer Criterion has been enlisted to support EA DICE with the development of Battlefield 6. The game apparently suffered setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but appears to still be on track for a late 2021 release.
It’s not all good news, however, as Criterion jumping on Battlefield 6 means they aren’t able to work on the next Need for Speed project. As such, the next Need for Speed has been pushed back into 2022.
In a statement to Polygon, EA chief studios officer Laura Miele explained that development on Battlefield 6 is going smoothly: “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.”
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Speeding off to war
It seems like EA is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to Battlefield 6, then, with Miele adding: "We have a great game and some incredible potential with this game. We’re playing to win; we’re playing to put a great Battlefield game out in the market." This might come as welcome news to Battlefield fans who may have been left a bit crestfallen by the middling Battlefield 5.
EA’s acquisition of Codemasters also gives the publisher some breathing room in regards to its racing game output. It might be losing Need for Speed this year, but it’s likely Codemasters will pick up the slack with F1 2021, the continuation of its annual Formula One licensed series.
If you’re worried that Criterion isn’t a good fit for Battlefield, don’t be. The developer has worked with EA DICE previously on Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront 2, as well as providing assistance on Battlefield 5, so this isn’t Criterion’s first rodeo when it comes to shooters. You might remember it also put out Black in 2006, a landmark first-person shooter for its time.
EA admitted the response to Battlefield 5 wasn’t quite what it had hoped, and thus Battlefield 6 will "mark a return to all-out military warfare” and aims to put more players on a multiplayer map than ever before.
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