Update - June 2
So, that got a little confusing yesterday. Instead of removing Need for Speed: Shift, Shift 2, and Undercover, EA placed those three within a larger "EA Racing Sale". While we were hoping this would've been a response to the short notice removal, it seems that was in fact a mistake. As such, those three are once again no longer purchasable, though you can still access the Steam pages.
Update - June 1
Despite EA's warning that five Need For Speed games would be delisted, three of them are still appearing on Steam within an "EA Racing Sale". Though NFS: The Run and Carbon were never on the service, you can find the others available at discount until (allegedly) June 13, as noted below.
- Need for Speed Shift - £6.29
- Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed - £6.29
- Need for Speed Undercover - £4.99
Original - June 1
With little to no warning, EA's announced that they've now delisted five older Need for Speed games. Speaking yesterday on the Need for Speed Reddit, one member of the development team, u/max_Joker, confirmed several games would disappear "as of May 31", with online servers closing down on August 31, 2021.
As part of this, Max_Joker released this statement:
Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed. 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.
EA Delist Five Need For Speed Games Suddenly, Online Servers Shutting Down In August
As such, players are no longer able to digitally obtain these entries from Steam, PSN or Xbox Store:
- Need for Speed Carbon
- Need for Speed Shift
- Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed
- Need for Speed The Run
- Need for Speed Undercover
As it stands, that just leaves Most Wanted (2012), Rivals, Need for Speed (2015), Payback, Heat and Hot Pursuit Remastered available to purchase. With only several hours notice before removal, a lot of fans were understandably unhappy at EA's decision. Some noted EA's only obliged to give 30 days notice about server shutdowns, and when asked about it, Max_Joker confirmed:
It's 30 days mentioned in the TOS, that's correct, and the notice about the online services in this case is about 90 days. The removal from online stores prior to that is to prevent players to buy the game without having the information that the online services will be shut down in the foreseeable future. I'll happily pass on the message that a heads up about the delisting in stores is appreciated for any potential future cases.
While it's unclear why exactly EA has pulled the plug so suddenly, many suspect this comes down to licencing issues. Whether that's with the cars or soundtracks (or both) remains unconfirmed, but it's disappointing to see further casualties of digital delisting.