After having been leaked ahead of time, Electronic Arts officially confirmed Need for Speed Heat. The latest game in the long-running racing series and the first since 2017's Need for Speed Payback, Need for Speed Heat is making some big changes to monetization that should please most fans.
As confirmed by community manager Ben Walke on Reddit, Need for Speed Heat will not have loot boxes. Instead monetization will be accomplished through "car packs" that will be sold post-launch. Day one DLC wasn't confirmed or denied, but it was said that Need for Speed Heat will be getting a "time-save pack" later this year that will reveal the location of all the collectibles on the map.
Some people may still be disappointed to learn that Need for Speed Heat is getting "time-save" DLC, as DLC like that has been controversial in the past. For example, Assassin's Creed Odyssey lets players buy an XP booster so players can get through the game faster, with some accusing Ubisoft of balancing the game in a way to encourage people to purchase the DLC. However, it's worth pointing out that time-save DLC like the one Need for Speed Heat will reportedly have is not unheard of in the racing genre.
Other racing games have sold similar DLC, showing players the location of all the collectibles in the game world. Of course, there will likely be free resources online, fan-made or otherwise, that will also reveal where Need for Speed Heat players can find the collectibles, so players should still be able to find everything without buying the DLC.
In the meantime, the move away from loot boxes in Need for Speed Heat seems like the right move. Some countries have already banned loot boxes, as they consider them to be gambling, and games with loot boxes are routinely criticized by gamers and the media. Not to mention Need for Speed Payback changed its loot boxes and progression system after the severe backlash to Star Wars Battlefront 2, so not having them to begin with could potentially save the team some time from having to change them later on.
Need for Speed Heat launches on November 8 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.