Electronic Arts, the developer of the Need for Speed franchise will remove five older Need for Speed titles from online stores. As of May 31, 2021, Need for Speed Carbon, Undercover, Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed, and The Run have been removed from the digital storefront. Online services will remain operational for the time being, however, they will be retired on August 31, 2021. The games will continue to be playable online only from September 1, 2021.
EA took to Reddit as Community manager Max_Joker for Need for Speed made the announcement. The post on Reddit reads “Starting May 31st 2021, Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run will be removed from digital storefronts and you will no longer be able to purchase them. In-game stores will also be closed from May 31st.”
The statement mentioned that it is being done in preparation for the retirement of the online services for the aforementioned titles which will come into effect from August 31, 2021.
Max_Joker also cited the reasons for the discontinuation of the titles. He said “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 five Need for Speed titles) up and running.” The full statement on the Reddit post can be viewed below.
The oldest game on the list is Need for Speed: Carbon which was released in 2006. In 2008, Need for Speed: Undercover was released, followed by Need for Speed: Shift in 2009 and Shift 2: Unleashed in 2011. Need for Speed: The Run also debuted in late 2011 making it the newest game on the list. EA will now focus its recourses on the newer and upcoming versions of the Need for Speed franchise with the older titles being discontinued. Need for Speed is one of the best selling video game franchises worldwide. EA announced in February 2020 that it was planning to move the core development duties of the Need for Speed franchise to back to Criterion Games.
The latest iteration of the popular game is Need for Speed: Heat which was released in 2019 available for Playstation 4 (PS4), Xbox One and Windows. As newer consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, S models have been introduced, a new version of the auto street racing game is likely to arrive in 2022.
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