Electronic Arts recently moved the Need for Speed series back over to developer Criterion, after spending a number of years with Ghost Games - but that plan seems to have changed again, with the game now being put on hold as the studio turns their focus to the development of Battlefield VI.
In November last year, EA said that the next Need for Speed was planned for the 2022 financial year and that it would take the series into the "next generation" - of course, a lot has changed since then, with the Cheif Studio Officer Laura Miele now confirming to Polygon that the game has been pushed back for a year, with Criterion changing gears to support the development of Battlefield VI, which has found itself struggling due to the impact of COVID-19.
While Criterion is known for its racing games, it's also worked on a number of other shooters such as Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefront 2 and Battlefield 5 in a supporting role, so it's not too surprising to see them fill that gap again. As for Need for Speed, it's also worth noting that EA recently picked up racing studio Codemasters, who are focusing on a number of racing titles including this year's F1 release, giving EA room the breath.
Could Codemasters also become involved in Need for Speed in the future? Apparently not - according to Miele, Criterion owns the franchise and are fully managing the remaster, and that the studio is responsible for anything related to Need for Speed and have the final say on what happens.
It seems then that the next Need for Speed will happen, at the earliest, sometime after April 2022. I'm slowly working my way through the existing games though, so for me at least, I can wait.