EA has pulled five Need for Speed games from sale ahead of an August shutdown of online services.
On 31st May, EA announced the removal of Need for Speed Carbon (2006), Need for Speed Undercover (2008), Need for Speed Shift (2009), Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed (2011) and Need for Speed The Run (2011) from digital storefronts. In-game stores have also closed.
EA said this move, which was announced and implemented on the same day, is in "preparation" for the "retirement" of the online services for these games, which is set for 31st August. Until then, you can still play and race your friends online. But from 1st September onwards, you can play offline only.
"Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed," EA 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.
"We hope you have gotten many victories, satisfying drifts, moments of friendly rivalry, and hours of joy over the last few years out of these games."
Need for Speed games still on sale and online include 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.
While the five Need for Speed games that are set for the scrapheap are on the old side, their termination highlights the video game industry's ongoing struggle with preservation. In this case, fans were quick to express their disappointment that EA did not provide them with a heads-up that these Need for Speed games were being pulled from sale.
"I'll happily pass on the message that a heads up about the delisting in stores is appreciated for any potential future cases," EA's Need for Speed community manager Max Myrus said in response on reddit.