A mysterious countdown has appeared on the Need For Speed portal on EA's website teasing a big announcement for the long-running racing franchise.
The countdown is slowly trickling down to 10 am EST on Wednesday with all signs pointing to a reveal. Whether this means a trailer or a handful of screenshots remains to be seen.
''A Truly Memorable High-speed Entry''
Devoid of the usual choreographed fanfare of leaks and not so subtle teases, EA has remained uncharacteristically quiet about the next Need For Speed. A post authored back in May by EA's Global Community Engagement Manager, Ben Walke, announcing a new Need For Speed title by the end of this year stands as the only tangible news until now.
Walke wrote at the time:
Are you going to hear more about the next NFS title? Yes. Is it being released this year? Yes. Will we be doing anything in June? No. It's as simple as that, but we wanted to give you a heads up before you started asking "where are you?" Our goal is to deliver a truly memorable high-speed entry into the 25 years of NFS, rather than a series of promotional events. The game matters most – a sentiment we bet you share with us.
A Shift In EA's Marketing Ethos?
Publishers are usually in the business of hyping up releases with extensive release cycles. Take, for example, Watch Dogs: Legion. Announced at E3 this year, the title won't release until spring 2020, giving Ubisoft just shy of a year to bombard prospective players with a plethora of content and entrench the game in the collective gaming psyche. Need For Speed, on the other hand, has a comparatively short runway of four months leading to the close of 2019.
Other than the excitement of a new entry to mark Need For Speed's 25th anniversary, the announcement hints at EA experimenting with a much shorter announcement-to-release cycle. Reigning in the hype cycle to a shorter time scale may prove beneficial in combating anticipatory consumer burn out in the ever-longer marketing campaigns that define the modern gaming landscape.