Need for Speed 2022 Release Date: When will EA's next-gen NFS racer hit shelves?

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Need for Speed is a racing series that's approaching 30 years in the business. It's one of the oldest around and we've missed it these past three years. This year will end that wait though, as Criterion Games is preparing to unleash a new Need For Speed game this year

EDITOR'S PICK: LOGITECH G923 RACING WHEEL

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But when is the Need for Speed 2022 release date? We've got everything you need to know right here!

Latest news - EA confirms 2022 release window

We still don't have an official release date for Need for Speed 2022. However, we now have official confirmation from EA that it's coming later this year.

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EA Q4 Earnings Call Need for Speed release date
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The next Need for Speed will release this year between 1 October and 31 December.

During a Q4 Earnings Call, EA confirmed the next Need for Speed game will release in Financial Year 23 Q3. This places the release date somewhere between 1 October and 31 December 2022.

Rumours suggest a November release, which is looking increasingly likely.

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Codemasters Cheshire working on Need for Speed 2022

We've known for a while that Need for Speed 2022 is in development by Criterion Games, the studio behind Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010.

Need for Speed Heat screenshot
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Codemasters Cheshire is working with Criterion to "deliver the future of Need for Speed."

Codemasters Cheshire, the developer of DiRT 5, is also working with Criterion on Need for Speed 2022 and beyond. A Linkedin post shared by EA Senior Recruiter Pete Johnson confirms that Codemasters Cheshire is hiring a Producer to “embark on an extraordinary journey to deliver the future of Need for Speed.”

Need for Speed 2022 map reportedly revealed in leaked screenshots

As for the location, Need for Speed 2022 will reportedly be set in a fictionalised version of Chicago known as Lake Shore City. Leaked screenshots reportedly show the in-game map, and it looks massive with a variety of environments.

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Need for Speed 2022 leaked map
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Need for Speed will reportedly be set in a fictionalised version of Chicago called Lake Shore City

Photorealistic graphics mixed with anime elements

In a surprise revelation, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb claims Need for Speed 2022 will combine photorealistic graphics with "anime elements."

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Need for Speed Heat screenshot
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Need for Speed 2022 will reportedly adopt an unusual art style with photorealistic graphics and anime elements.

“It’s going to be photo-realistic, but it’s going to have on top of that, anime elements,” Grubb said. “You know when you see a car commercial or something like that and the car’s driving around, but then cartoons flames and stuff are flying off it? That’s the kind of the aesthetic that they seem to be going for.”

Criterion brought onto Battlefield

Despite multiple developers working on NFS over the decades, EA have always been the publishers of the series. Love them or loathe them, EA are videogaming juggernauts and dozens of huge series are in their portfolio. As big as NFS is, it isn’t EA’s largest series.

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nfs heat 1
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PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS: Criterion were taken onto another project, but they're back on NFS now

Because of this, first-person shooter Battlefield took precedent over NFS last year. EA had brought back Criterion to make the next NFS, but when Battlefield 2042 required more resources to avoid a delay, the British developers shifted focus to the FPS.

With Battlefield 2042 now released though, Criterion are free and able to work on NFS again. This is something we’re very hyped about as well, because of Criterion’s great history in NFS.

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Need for Speed 2022 release date

There is no Need for Speed 2022 release date yet. However, EA has officially confirmed it's coming later this year.

During a Q4 Earnings Call, EA revealed that the next Need for Speed game will release in Financial Year 23 Q3. This means it will launch between 1 October and 31 December 2022.

NFS Heat Early Race
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IN THE WORKS: NFS 2022 is on the way, but we don't have a release date yet

If you look into the past, you can predict when NFS 2022 will launch. If you go over the previous games in the series, you’ll notice that all of the recent ones were launched in November. November is a peak time for video game releases, as it’s just before Christmas and in the heart of the Black Friday sales.

We don’t expect that to change for NFS 2022, especially since it gives Criterion almost the whole of the year to make the next NFS. If this is the case, we expect the reveal trailer to drop sometime in June-August, probably around E3 or EA Play this summer.

Consoles

The previous game in the series, NFS Heat, was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. A lot has changed since 2019 though, as new consoles have entered the fray. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have been available since 2020.

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NFS Heat 1
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BEAUTIFUL: The next-gen consoles will really show off NFS' graphics

Of course, NFS will be out on PC as well, but a Switch release is doubtful. Nintendo's home consoles are usually omitted from the NFS release schedule.

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The big question marks surround the PS4 and One, though. At the moment, top games, including those for EA, are still being released on old-gen. However, Autumn 2022 will mark two years since the next-gen consoles' launch. Add the fact that these systems are becoming more accessible, and their days could be numbered.

A signal of this could be that the Xbox One is now no longer being manufactured. With all this in mind, NFS 2022 will reportedly be current-gen only.

Features

We don't have anything official confirmed nor denied when it comes to NFS 2022's features. Going off recent games though, we'd expect it to be in full 4K and at 60 fps for PS5, Series X and high-end gaming PCs. The PS5 will also allow for haptic feedback on the DualSense, as well as 3D sound on the Pulse 3D headset.

If the game is released on One and PS4 as well, it'll be downscaled but still run in 1080p.

We could well see features like ray tracing during non-racing scenes. Finally, crossplay should be enabled for NFS 22, as it was for Heat.