• Alberto Mezzalira

EA removes five Need for Speed games from digital stores

EA shutting down the servers for five of its Need For Speed games and it’s even removing them from digital stores.

EA decided to remove five old Need For Speed games from digital stores and to turn off their multiplayer servers. The games mentioned are Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run, and, since May 31, they will only exist as physical copies or digitally for those who have already purchased them; the in-game stores have been closed as well but it is still possible to play online until August 31.

This event is surprising as there was no prior warning or rumour about this move; EA, in fact, decided to announce this decision on Reddit the day it happened. ‘Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need For Speed. The development teams and operational staff have put a lot of time and passion into the development, creation, release and upkeep of the game over the years, and we love to see you play. But the number of players has come to a point where it’s no longer feasible to continue the work behind the scenes required to keep [the games] up and running.’ Says the post.

This decision is in line with EA usual strategy of cutting support for old or less popular games way earlier that the majority of the publishers, they usually keep their games available, but why they decided not to make previous announcements about it is still a mystery. Luckily, if you already own the games, you will still be able to download them but no one else can buy them new or play them online.

About the future of the franchise, we already know that EA is working on a new Need for Speed game but it was recently delayed until 2023. Even though the last games have not made huge commercial success, there is great interest in this new game as it is being developed by Criterion. Do you think it is a good move by EA? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this!