EA is pulling the plug on four of its older free-to-play PC titles.
2nd August 2010
2nd July 2010
28th June 2010
17th May 2010
12th April 2010
17th March 2010
16th March 2010
30th January 2009
Remember that free-to-play Need for Speed MMO, NFS World? It's two years old today.
EA has today added a dynamic day/night cycle and advanced vehicle performance customisation tuning system to Need for Speed World.
Racing MMO Need for Speed World has zoomed past the one million registered users mark.
If you were in the Headstart week of Need for Speed World, in which early birds could tour the world a week early, you'll have experienced a discouraging sense of isolation. The first multiplayer race I tried to join was a matter of sitting in a lobby with a single, silent avatar chosen from the small and self-consciously macho collection available.
The minute-long lobby wait was so pregnant with tension that I typed an embarrassed “hi” into the chat window, with 30 seconds left to the race. Fifteen seconds later, I got the reply “bailing if only 2”. He proved himself no liar, and some seconds after I was kicked back into the world. Was he rude? Was I expecting too much? Is it mentally ill to fall in love so easily?
As the week dragged on, it became clear that I couldn't honestly review the game as an MMO racing game on the basis of the races I was having. There simply weren't enough people. I experienced the reasonable but testing difficulty curve of single-player games - and their inferior Rep (NFSW's XP) rewards - and I initiated a lucrative set of familiar solo pursuits with the police force. But those multiplayer races - surely the entire point of a genre with MMO in it - were attracting a maximum of three participants, whether I was on the American or European server. Generously enough, you can take your drivers onto either server, a boon to anyone who keeps odd hours.
Racing MMO Need for Speed World will be available to download on 27th July, EA has confirmed.
Need for Speed World is to go into open beta this weekend, opening its servers to all comers from today until Monday.
The beta for the free-to-play online PC racer begins at 6pm UK time today, Friday 2nd July. The exact end time on Monday 5th isn't specified. It's open to anyone who registers at the game's website.
If you were part of the closed beta - perhaps after picking up a key from Eurogamer earlier this week - your account won't be wiped, which is nice.
'Turn your awesomeness into a hammer'.
Need For Speed World is to enter its third stage of beta testing with a week-long test starting on Wednesday.
That's according to the Need for Speed Podcast, dutifully listened to by VG247.
You can still apply for a beta key at the official Need for Speed World website.
EA has announced that the closed PC beta for Need for Speed World has begun and that people can sign up to claim one of the limited number of available slots at world.needforspeed.com.
NFS World allows players to race against one another in a persistent online world, and spend the fruits of their racing labours on performance upgrades and new vehicles. There's also a range of power-ups to master.
The game is free to play on PC and will be supported by micro-transactions for additional paid content.
My first thought, as I start to jab happily at the cursor keys, is that it feels a little like the glory days of Midtown Madness - albeit with more people and buffing. Such idle nostalgic conjecture, however, throws few dice with Need for Speed World's creators - a dual-attack squad from Canada and Singapore tasked with creating Need For Speed in its very purest form. Their mission is to distil the essence of the franchise, cherry-pick their audience's favourite modes and maps, and then expand them into a free-to-play PC MMO they hope will be as unstoppable as a Toyota on the school run.
EA has announced that the Need for Speed series has sold more than 100 million units since its launch in 1994.
EA Games marketing bigwig Keith Munro has told Eurogamer there is one more secret Need For Speed game in development beyond the three titles revealed earlier today.
Electronic Arts has told Eurogamer that it plans to reinvent the Need for Speed series by launching separate core, casual and 'Play 4 Free' games this year.
Need for Speed: Shift will launch on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP this autumn - as will Need for Speed: Nitro on Wii and DS. Need for Speed: World Online will be released to the Asian online PC market this summer, before heading West in the winter.
Need for Speed: Shift will be made by Slightly Mad Studios of GT Legends and GTR 2 fame, with help from EA Black Box producer Michael Mann and EA Games Europe bigwig Patrick Soderlund.
The Play 4 Free incarnation.