The current Need for Speed game may be in limbo at present so developer Criterion can help out with the Battlefield franchise, but Electronic Arts has announced it is sunsetting several older Need for Speed titles. Not only will the the five affected Need for Speed games no longer have access to their online features when the sunset occurs this fall, but they are also delisted from digital storefronts effective today.
According to a Reddit post from community manager Max Myrus, Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed, and Need for Speed: The Run are getting delisted today. After today’s delisting and closure of the in-game storefronts, players can access the online components until August 31. Beginning September 1, 2021, the online servers will close and players will be restricted to the offline modes.
“Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed,” the post from Myrus said. “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 Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run up and running.”
While servers for older games coming offline is no rare occurrence, the abrupt, same-day delisting with next to no warning is unfortunate for those who want to add the titles to their libraries. Thankfully, you can still track down the physical versions of the games if you wish to play. Of the games listed, the most recent is Need for Speed: The Run, which released in November 2011, meaning the games are all at least nearly a decade old.
If you own these games, you have until August 31 to enjoy the online offerings. After that, you can still play the offline elements of those games. The post from the community manager recommends players who want to keep racing online pick up some of the newer titles including Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012), Need for Speed Rivals, Need for Speed (2015), Need for Speed Payback, Need for Speed Heat, and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. The next Need for Speed game is currently set to launch in 2022.