EA files a trademark for Need for Speed Arena but while some fans hope for a new open-world racer, others have their fingers crossed for something completely different.
When it was released back in 2015, Game Rant's review of the Need for Speed reboot called it "a solid driving game," but it's also one that's "non-essential." Moreover, despite developer Ghost Games having created a title that would leave casual racing game fans "satisfied," the Need for Speed reboot failed to "reinvent the wheel." The review also notes that those who are on the fence about buying the game could wait for a "bigger, better installment."
While that much improved successor is unlikely to happen in 2016, as the review predicted, a new Need for Speed game is most definitely in the works. On November 7, the series' publisher EA filed a trademark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for something called Need for Speed Arena.
Unfortunately, the trademark didn't include any information about what the game could feature, but some fans have coyly suggested that it could be a rival to arena-based title Rocket League, which has sold over 1 million copies on Steam alone. While it's understandable why EA would want to get a slice of that cars-playing-sportsball pie, that seems very unlikely and antithetical to the core Need for Speed experience. Still, a shakeup to the Need for Speed formula could be just what the franchise needs.
Others says that they want Need for Speed Arena to be open-world, like the Need for Speed reboot. As the racing franchise's reboot aimed to focus on the 'core' principles of the series, it would make sense for that to be preserved going forward. With the Need for Speed reboot requiring an online connection, many fans have their fingers crossed that this feature will be dropped for the next game too.
However, although Ghost Games revealed in May that it is working on a new Need for Speed game that will be released in 2017, not everyone is convinced that the Arena trademark is related. Some doubtful fans have said that Need for Speed Arena doesn't sound like a main entry in the franchise and could instead be a mobile game. A previous Need for Speed mobile game caused controversy when it charged players for gas, so if Need for Speed Arena does turn out to be a mobile title, many will be hoping that it doesn't try to monetize like that again.