During Electronic Art's quarterly earnings call last year, CEO Andrew Wilson revealed that the company would release six new next-gen titles during the 2022 fiscal year, including a brand-new Need for Speed game for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
Wilson said that the game would feature "astounding visual leaps" and be developed by Criterion Games; however, there have not been any further details communicated ever since.
This is particularly concerning given that Need for Speed games are traditionally released during the fourth quarter. More recently, however, industry insider and notable leaker Tom Henderson provided some less-than-reassuring updates regarding the game.
Next-gen NFS game to get dev support from Codemasters
On 11th February, Tom Henderson revealed in a Twitter thread that the UK-based game development firm Codemasters Cheshire had been picked up as a support studio for the next-gen Need for Speed title.
SCOOP - Codemasters Cheshire is to become a support studio for the next Need For Speed title. pic.twitter.com/yCFtLr2aji— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) February 10, 2022
In a follow-up tweet, Henderson said, "There were also questions in regards to [the] crunch, as it's currently bad at Criterion working on Need for Speed," adding, "EA basically made it out like it was unavoidable due to the game being scheduled to release this year."
Notably, Henderson added that Criterion Games would still lead the game's development, sparking doubt regarding the game's readiness.
Whether this means that EA will delay the upcoming Need for Speed title or whether the studio has been brought on board to aid the game's final development stages is uncertain.
But, admittedly, if the slew of bugs and issues at Battlefield's early access launch were any indication of what to expect, we'd say it's presumably the former that is the case; much rather the latter.
Furthermore, and perhaps unsurprisingly, neither EA nor Criterion have provided much information, let alone an announcement for the upcoming Need for Speed title's release.
Before this article was published, John Reseburg, the VP of Global Communications for Electronic Arts, wrote, "Well, this is entirely wrong." Followingly, Henderson snapped back, requesting further clarification regarding his insider sources.
"This is probably the point where you call a company-wide meeting on Monday and scramble to put together an email or something like that. When an employee asks a direct question, they expect a direct answer. You're the VP of Communications, not the VP of beating around the bush," Henderson later added.
Judging from David Rutter's bitter comment in the meeting, I know that's not the case.— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) February 12, 2022
I'm not interested in a PR statement that will verify the main story and skip the details like with BF.
Just be direct with those who are worried about the change.
Clearly, EA is unimpressed with Henderson's tweets, which could, at the very least, imply some semblance of truth. However, these claims are not confirmed and should thus be treated with a pinch of salt.
We will endeavour to provide further updates as more information becomes available.
Featured image courtesy of Electronic Arts.