The Electric Playground’s show on Friday reported that Electronic Arts has cancelled development of new titles in its Need for Speed franchise. An EA spokesman gave a generic response that did not dispel the rumour.
Electronic Playground did not name its source. Reached for comment, EA said: “We’re working through a process on people, products, and facilities at EA and don’t have any announcements today.” That’s no defence for a franchise that goes back to 1994, so, it sounds like something’s up.
Need for Speed: Undercover released to very unenthusiastic reviews, to put it charitably. It was one of the titles named by analysts in this week’s news that holiday sales would be sharply lower than expected, news that sent the publisher’s stock into a dive. EA CEO John Riccitello said the company would cut titles from its “bottom levels of profitability,” which exempts EA’s sports catalogue.
EA-owned Black Box Studios is the home of NFS.
But it also develops FIFA, NBA Live, NHL and others for EA. Correction, that is EA Canada. EA Black Box makes Need for Speed and Skate. Killing NFS would be a serious blow.