So you could be forgiven if you had forgotten about the Need for Speed franchise. The game had been suspected as in production for a while following the muted reception of the last two games. One in 2015 and another in 2017, both of which were met with lukewarm fanfare at best.
However, since the newest entry in long-running racing franchise was confirmed a few weeks back during an EA earnings call, the internet has been alight with speculation and the tiniest bit of hype. Fans were hopeful that the title would make a showing at E3 2019, or at least peep up during the EA Play event scheduled next month. Sadly, that’s not happening.
The team behind the upcoming racing title did post and explanation on the EA website. It seems like rather than bring a partially finished game to E3, the developers want to polish the game up nice and make a really good first impression. Here’s what they had to say:
“Are you going to hear more about the next NFS title? Yes. Is it being released this year? Yes. Will we be doing anything in June? No. It’s as simple as that, but we wanted to give you a heads up before you started asking “where are you?” Our goal is to deliver a truly memorable high-speed entry into the 25 years of NFS, rather than a series of promotional events. The game matters most – a sentiment we bet you share with us.”
The goal is admirable, especially considering that many long-term fans have soured on the franchise since the glory days of the PS2 era and beyond. Need for Speed 2019 will have to be one helluva good game to recapture that essence though. The simple setups and simpler tastes of that particular gaming generation are a bygone age. So it looks like Electronic Arts will have to dig deep and figure out what they want to change to get players interested again.
We don’t know much about the gameplay, tracks, roster of cars or any of that, you know the important stuff in a racing game. But the game will come out this year, and it is being built with the Frostbite Engine. Let’s just hope the devs manage to avoid some of performance issues and buggy states games with that engine have previously fallen prey to.