While it's been known that Criterion Games would officially be taking over from Ghost Games for the development of the next Need for Speed title, it was today announced by EA that tomorrow's update for Need for Speed Heat will bring cross-play to the previously released title -- and will be its last. With that release, Criterion Games will put its "full focus" onto the development of the next entry in the long-running racing franchise.
"As we at Criterion shift gears into the future with full focus on developing the next Need for Speed game, this will be the final update for Need for Speed Heat," today's announcement from Matt Webster, General Manager of Criterion Games, reads in part. "Since the launch of Need for Speed Heat and as players continue to tear it up in Palm City, we’re listening to what you love about this experience, and what you all believe could be even better. With these insights, we have a terrific foundation to create the most expressive, most socially connected, action-packed game yet for Need for Speed fans and beyond."
Need for Speed Heat released late last year to fair-to-middling reviews, including ComicBook.com's own 3 out of 5. While it was generally praised for its gameplay, many also noted that there was little to differentiate it in positive ways from previous entries. Regardless, the new cross-play update and the fact that it will be available on June 16th via EA Access and the Origin Access Basic Vault for subscribers means that there should be plenty of folks to play with should you want to give it a try this month.
The next Need for Speed game does not currently have a name, release date, or anything of the sort attached to it. All that's really known at this point is that Criterion Games is developing it. Need for Speed Heat is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and the final update bringing cross-play to the title releases tomorrow, June 9th. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Need for Speed franchise right here.
What do you think of Need for Speed Heat getting cross-play? Are you looking forward to whatever Criterion Games does with the franchise next? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!