It’s no secret a new Need for Speed game is in development by Criterion Games, the British studio behind Burnout Paradise and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.
While the new NFS game hasn’t been announced yet, the sequel to 2019’s Need for Speed Heat is expected to arrive later this year. But if new rumours are true, the new NFS game will be current-gen only.
Need for Speed 2022 could be current-gen only
Speaking on his premium Giantbomb show, Grubbsnax transcribed by VGC, VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb said EA plans to release the next NFS game in November.
This isn’t surprising as NFS games traditionally release in November to maximise Christmas sales. What is surprising, however, is that Grubb also said the new NFS will only release on current-gen cosnoles.
“Need for Speed is still coming this year… that’s true, that game should be coming in November,” said Grubb. “If you are a Need for Speed fan who has bought a next-gen console, here’s some news; it’s next-gen only. They are shifting to next-gen only.”
If true, it means the new NFS game won’t be released on PS4 or Xbox One. 2019’s NFS Heat, the last new entry in the series, was released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Criterion’s NFS game will mark the series’ next-gen debut.
This contradicts EA’s chief studio officer Laura Miele, who told Polygon the next Need for Speed will also release on last-gen consoles. Grubbs didn't mention a PC version, but NFS 2022 will presumably come out on PC as well as current-gen consoles.
Releasing the next NFS game on current-gen formats only will allow Criterion to pour more resources into the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions. This could reduce sales, however, as supply issues are still affecting PS5 and Xbox Series X console stock.
Grubb also said the 2022 Need for Speed game could be set in Miami, but he’s not certain. A Miami setting seems unlikely though, as NFS Heat’s fictional Palm City open world was inspired by Miami.
After Ghost Games developed the last four NFS games, EA handed the keys to the franchise to Criterion in 2020. The next NFS was originally supposed to release by 31 March 2022, but development was paused when Criterion was brought on to help DICE develop Battlefield 2042.
In a recent earnings call, EA confirmed the new Need for Speed game will release in FY23. This means mean it will arrive between 1 April, 2022, and 31 March, 2023.
With E3 2022 and EA Play Live 2022 cancelled, it’s not clear when EA will reveal the new NFS game. EA usually announces NFS games at the EA Play event around E3 with a reveal trailer. If the next NFS game is coming in November, it will likely be announced between June and August.
Codemasters Cheshire, the developer behind DiRT 5 and OnRush, is also reportedly working on the Need for Speed 2022 game with Criterion as a support studio.