It’s [current year], and for millennials that means that we live in a backwards world where common sense and basic amenities in gaming have actually become advertised features for home consoles and PC. That isn’t better exemplified than with the recent announcement for the upcoming 2017 outing of Need For Speed, which will feature offline single-player and the ability to pause the game. Yes, it’s true… it’s true.
No, the headline is not a joke. No, the opening paragraph is also not a joke. Though you can hopefully appreciate the hint of irony and sarcasm, the reality is that this story is 100% legitimate.
The news comes from a post over on the official Need For Speed website, where contracted developer Ghost Games made a post on May 9th, 2017 entitled “Paying it Back”.
The post first thanks fans for loving the 2015 outing of Need For Speed, and how they’ll be bringing back cops to this year’s outing, along with the optional and highly versatile customization features.
The post then moves to discussing what they plan to include in the upcoming game, and the type of racing environments you’ll encounter in the 2017 outing of Need For Speed. They round out the post meekly with the following statements about being able to pause the game and play offline, alone…
“Let’s finish on one of the biggest discussion points around the last game: always-online. To say that this is a topic you’re passionate about would be an understatement, and whenever there’s a topic that gathers as much attention and feedback from you as this did, we take note.
“So, when release day rolls around for the next Need for Speed, you will be able to play through a single player experience completely offline. Before you ask, and we know you will, this does mean you will be able to pause the game.”
This was an absolute no-brainer decision.
The biggest complaint about the Need For Speed in 2015 was the fact that it was always-on. This meant that you couldn’t properly pause the game and that no matter what you were always interacting with the online component.
This has been a growing trend in some recent games where companies have been trying to forcibly turn games into services instead of purchasable products. In the case of the 2015 outing of Need For Speed this didn’t quite work out so well for EA. The game deputed at seventh place during the November NPD, according to Venturebeat, and it completely fell off the charts on the December NPD charts, also reported by Venturebeat.
It’s sad that it took the sales ruination of the 2015 reboot in order to get it through to EA that always-on DRM is a pretty awful thing and it not only shortens the lifespan of a game but will instantly get a bunch of no-buys from people who actually like to preserve their gaming experience by being able to play it when they please, and not when the servers allow them to.