Update: Pulling the thumbnail from the livestream video scheduled for tomorrow, and looking closely at the URL from EA's Twitter confirm that the new Need For Speed is actually titled Need For Speed Heat.
Update 2: EA and Ghost Gaves have officially announced Need for Speed Heat. Here are the details and reveal trailer.
Need for Speed is coming back in 2019, as Electronic Arts and developer Ghost Games have confirmed that a new entry in the series is due out this year.
EA's long-running racing series began in 1994 with The Need for Speed and has spawned over 20 different entries since its debut. Its most recent installment, developer Ghost Games' Need for Speed Payback, debuted two years ago in 2017. We've heard little about the next installment in the series since then, save a surprise announcement by way of the developers themselves.
Earlier in May 2019, the Need for Speed team took to the game's official EA Answers page with a blog announcement proclaiming they were finally back. The lengthy post detailed the Need for Speed developers' plans for the series' 25th anniversary and their ideas for "kickstarting" the 26th year with the next Need for Speed game.
"Are you going to hear more about the next NFS title? Yes. Is it being released this year? Yes," the post assured eager fans ready to get behind the driver's seat once more. Ghost Games went into further detail regarding what it found integral to the series, which could be a hint as to what we can expect from the upcoming entry.
Now, a countdown appears on the official Need for Speed website, which is ticking away the hours until August 14, the same date EA CEO Andrew Wilson noted would make for the new game's pre-Gamescom 2019 debut. Wilson spoke on the game's existence during a financial report earlier in the year, in which Wilson confirmed it would be coming this year as well as chewing the need for "gimmicks" or extensive storyline. Instead, Wilson noted that it would be revitalizing the "Street racer vs. cops fantasy at the core of the franchise." Other than these brief comments, we've heard hide nor hair about the impending game's debut. That's all about to change, though.
Given the fact that Need for Speed Payback debuted to lukewarm reception when it arrived on consoles and PC back in November 2017, following a similarly mediocre series reboot with 2015's Need for Speed, it's time for Ghost Games to show up and show out. It's been four years since the once massively popular racer reinvented itself, so hopefully third time's the charm. Given the lack of similar open-world racers out there at the moment and 2019 being the first year in a long while that Microsoft Studios has no new Forza title, it could make a sizable splash, especially if released in the middle of a gaming dry spell, past all the massive titles on the horizon like 2020's Cyberpunk 2077 or Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
In the meantime, EA is removing and hiding all online traces of previous NFS content on their Instagram and YouTube channels to avoid any confusion or memories of disappointment. It's high time we see Need for Speed make its triumphant return to the racing game scene, and we can't wait to tear up the asphalt.
Update: Here's the official logo for NFS Heat (or Need For Speed Heat) which match leaks from July from an Australian retailer. The vehicle featured in the cover art matches one of the thumbnail options from the trailer as well: