Need for Speed Heat fans could be excused for some conflicting emotions this week, as Criterion Games has revealed support for the popular title is about to end.
The next update for Heat arrives on June 9, and it will be the game’s last. However, the team is sending it out with a bang, as the update will add an extremely unusual feature: full cross-platform play.
Sony has traditionally been the stumbling block for cross-platform play. It took until late 2018 for the PlayStation platform to support any such feature, with Sony allowing Fortnite players on PSN to play with their Xbox and PC counterparts. Since then, Sony has been working quietly on the idea, opening it up to all developers towards the back end of 2019.
Although not the first car game, Heat will become the very first racing game to support cross-platform play — or “crossplay”. It’ll also be the first title from EA with the facility. Once the update goes live on June 9, players on PC, Xbox, and PS4, can opt into cross-play and find any players on any platform to race with.
The update, which comes in at around 7GB for console players, also deals with a few bugs and glitches, but primarily serves as NFS Heat’s final patch. It’s a title we were largely impressed with when it launched in November, and it’s a little sad to see it shuffled off at just seven months of age.
However, the decision to close down work on Heat coincides with another interesting announcement. Criterion Games, which took back the franchise from Ghost Games when EA effectively shuttered the Swedish studio, is now hard at work developing the next installment of the Need for Speed series.
That may mean a break from the recent two-year cycle on Need for Speed games, and almost certainly means that the next time we see the series it’ll be on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. There should be some more information on the new Need for Speed title coming soon, so watch this space…