Racing games are still going relatively strong in the midst of the shift to the current generation of consoles. Forza Horizon 2 and the recently release Project Cars are giving both arcade and simulation racing fans something to enjoy, but one of the most notable racing franchises, Need for Speed, has been a bit quiet lately.
Ghost Games, the studio currently in charge of development of the game, was hit with layoffs last year, prompting many to wonder about the status of the then-unannounced NFS title. Soon after, the dev and publisher EA revealed that the series would be taking a small hiatus until 2015, with nothing but a re-release of Need for Speed Rivals to keep fans occupied (or eager to play a new one).
At the time, Ghost Games reassured fans by saying they’d use the longer development time to heavily incorporate feedback, with the goal to make an “innovative Need for Speed.”
We are already deep in development on our next game and want to make this promise to you: we will listen to you. We’re going to give you the game you’ve been asking for. It will be the game you deserve, but to do that will take us some time.
We’ve made the decision to not release a Need for Speed in 2014, so we can work towards a highly innovative Need for Speed in 2015. An experience built on a foundation we know you’ll greatly look forward to.
It would appear as though the world will get its first look at the new game this Thursday, May 21, if the series’ Facebook page is any indication. A recent post encourages people to subscribe to the NFS YouTube channel before its impending announcement, alongside a heavily darkened teaser image. This image, when brightened up, shows two cars drifting side by side, leading some to believe this will be the long awaited return of Need for Speed Underground or, at least, its style and tone.
It wouldn’t be the first time the series pulled from its older installments, as it did with the Criterion-developed Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.
Looks like Underground - pic.twitter.com/WCTFTHmHW8— Nibel (@Nibellion) May 18, 2015
This new Need for Speed will almost certainly come out later this year (perhaps in the Fall), and Thursday’s announcement could be a precursor to a more in-depth showing at E3 2015 next month. Chances are high that more information will be leaked prior to either of the aforementioned events, because that’s how things go sometimes. But maybe Need For Speed will be one of the few safe ones.