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Need for Speed Heat gets cross-play, the first EA game to do so

Criterion Games updates Heat, announces new Need for Speed in development

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a nighttime racing scene from Need for Speed Heat Image: Ghost Games/Electronic Arts
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Need for Speed Heat, the 2019 racing game developed by Ghost Games, is getting cross-play support on PlayStation 4, Windows PC (both on Origin and Steam), and Xbox One starting June 9. Criterion Games, which has taken over development of the Need for Speed franchise, announced cross-play support on Monday, confirming that Tuesday’s update will be the final one for Heat.

Need for Speed Heat will be the first Electronic Arts-developed game to support cross-platform multiplayer, said Matt Webster, general manager of Criterion Games.

“Once you’ve installed the update (see full update notes here, including some other fixes, too), you can opt in to race players across PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One,” Webster said in a blog post. “You can search for your friends who are playing on any of the above systems, given they’ve opted in for cross-play as well, inside the Find Players menu. Then, go to the new EA Friends tab in the Party Menu to see who’s online to play with.”

Need for Speed Heat — as well as Need for Speed Rivals and 2016’s Need for Speed — was released on Steam alongside other EA games last week. EA says more of its PC catalog will come to Steam. Webster said fans should watch EA Play Live on June 18 “for more Need for Speed and Steam announcements.”

Criterion is also developing the next Need for Speed game. Regarding NFS Heat and Criterion’s new role as franchise caretaker, Webster said, “[W]e’re listening to what you love about this experience, and what you all believe could be even better. With these insights, we have a terrific foundation to create the most expressive, most socially connected, action-packed game yet for Need for Speed fans and beyond.”

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