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EA delists Need for Speed games from digital stores with little warning

Publisher delists 5 NFS titles ahead of server shutdowns

Two cars race in Need for Speed: Shift Image: Slightly Mad Studios/Electronic Arts
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Publisher Electronic Arts delisted five older Need for Speed games on Monday, citing the games’ impending retirement of online services. EA offered little warning about the Need for Speed games’ delisting, angering fans of the venerable racing series.

The five delisted titles are Need for Speed: Carbon (2006), Need for Speed: Undercover (2008), Need for Speed: Shift (2009), Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed (2011), and Need for Speed: The Run (2011). In a statement posted to Reddit on Monday, a representative for EA said that “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.”

Carbon, Undercover, Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed, and The Run will all go offline on Aug. 31, 2021, EA said. From Sept. 1, “you can still play the games and use the respective offline features of these titles,” the publisher added.

The removal affects Sony’s PlayStation Store, Microsoft’s Xbox Games Store, Steam, and EA’s Origin service. (Although some of those Need for Speed games are still available for sale through Steam at a discount.)

EA said it is “now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed.” The next game in the franchise is expected sometime in 2022. Need for Speed developer Criterion is currently assisting DICE on the next Battlefield game, and plans to return to the racing franchise (which it took over from developer Ghost Games) next year.

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