Earlier today Electronic Arts announced that it would be shutting down four of its online F2P titles, Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield Play4Free, FIFIA World, and Need for Speed: World. The games will be around for another 90 days, finally going dark on July 14, 2015.
Of those four, Battlefield Heroes is probably the most well known, being one of EA’s early forays into the F2P market and because its art style looks suspiciously like that of Team Fortress 2, back when you had to buy TF2. (Later it went F2P and became a bigger success, so go figure.)
It had some early issues with the whole free model, and how hard it can be to “take things back” once you have made them free. And our group actually tried to play Battlefield Heroes one Saturday evening, though without much success. We couldn’t figure out how to all get in the same battle on the same side at the same time.
But of those four games, the one I will actually miss is Need for Speed: World.
I first tried the game back in 2011 after Tipa mentioned it in a post. It ended up being a fairily unique game for me, a free to play PC title I actually enjoyed and where the business model seemed just about right. While I was never a whale (per that question from SynCaine) I was happy enough buying some neat cars now and again. And for a stretch I just enjoyed driving around with the TRON Legacy sound track playing. The instance group even spent some evenings playing. We bought cars and I even made a video or three.
It was light fun. There were things I liked and things I did not, but over all it was some good fun. I like cars (just not enough to own a nice one) and this allowed me to play around with some interesting ones. (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was my favorite of the series, so I ended up with a lot of Japanese cars.)
Now, however, the count down to the final day is on.
The Race is Coming to an end.
By: rhiordd | 04-15-2015
After five years on the race track, Need for Speed World is about to run its last lap. The free-to-play PC action racer will be permanently shutting down its servers on July 14th 2015. Purchases of SpeedBoosts will be disabled as of today.
When it launched 2010, Need for Speed World brought together best-in-class action racing with an unparalleled social experience on PC. However, five years on, we feel that the game no longer lives up to the high standard set by the Need for Speed franchise. The steady stream of live content kept our players engaged but unfortunately we were not able to keep pace with feature development. At this point, the major overhaul needed to bring the game up to speed is not viable for us, so after careful review we came to a decision to stop development and begin winding down support of Need for Speed World.
We’re still leaving Need for Speed World on for a couple more months. If you have a balance of in-game currency, we encourage you to spend it before July 14th. While you can spend the currency you already have, we are disabling the functionality to purchase SpeedBoost, as well as the ability to register new accounts, from now until the closing date.
It’s been a great ride. We would like to thank our community for a wonderful five years. We’re grateful for the time we spent together.
Need for Speed World development team
This is, of course, one of the problems playing a game from a big organization like EA. They have lots of games, so if one isn’t doing as well as expected, they can chop it, save some money, and move the devs to another project. (Or lay them off to really cut expenses.) A smaller company might fight… might have to fight to survive… to keep these games viable.
I was also interested to see that the press release included a bit about SWTOR doing fine, as if EA was patting that team on the head while showing them a reminder of what happens to games that fail to meet revenue goals.
Anyway, I will have to find some time to log in and take a last tour of the game in its final state.