Today began with the sad revelation that several of the older Need for Speed games have been removed from digital storefronts. Players will no longer be able to purchase them.
This sad piece of news was revealed by the developers through a Reddit post on r/needforspeed. The post said that the games would no longer be available after May 31.
The list of games which are now no longer available for purchase are:
- Need for Speed Carbon
- Need for Speed Undercover
- Need for Speed Shift
- Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed
- Need for Speed The Run
The developers also said that the in-game stores of these titles will also be closed from now on.
They went on to explain that this was due to them preparing to take down the online services offered by these titles.
According to the developers, the online features of the games listed here (if any) will remain active until August 31. At that point, all the servers will be shut down and online play will no longer be possible for any of these games.
Additionally, the developers stated that these games can still be played offline and have access to their offline features from September 1 onwards… provided that you have already purchased them, of course.
The reason given by the devs for this sudden change is that they are now “shifting gears” and focusing on the future of Need for Speed. They also said that the player count of the aforementioned games was not high enough to justify the work that needed to be done to keep them up and running.
The developers ended their statement by encouraging fans of the franchise to try out some of their newer titles.
Looking at the fan response to this, some fans seem to have wanted a little more warning beforehand so they could buy these games, but do appreciate the heads up by the devs.
Other fans are highly skeptical of this whole thing. They wonder why the games needed to be taken down from storefronts completely if the issue was that the servers were too expensive to maintain. Why not simply remove the online features and keep the games on the storefront, they ask.
This removal of games from digital storefronts comes after a sale on some digital storefronts. However, looking at fan response to the devs’ statement, this sale seems to have gone under the radar. The notice about taking these games down comes right at the end of the sale.
This situation once again brings up the topic of games archival. Some of these games are more than a decade old. Need for Speed Carbon for instance, came out in 2006. These games can be considered classics.
By removing the games from digital storefronts so thoroughly, EA has made it impossible for players to ever go back and buy these games digitally.
The reasoning given by the developers about the cost of maintaining servers only pertains to online play. These games offer a lot of offline content as well, so why did they have to disappear from storefronts?
I guess we’ll never know for sure…