Pull Over, It’s The Framerate Police: Need For Speed PC Version Delayed

EA, mate, I told you – don’t try to drive through Central Gamedev, you’ll be months late unless you take the ring road and cut in on… you’ve done what? You’ve stopped in Computon to pick up some extra frames? Mate. It’s your choice, I suppose, but bear in mind that your pals might rather you turn up to the launch on time than arrive months later with a big bucket of frames.

Oh! Is this thing on? Flipping Dragon Dictate! Well, readers, if you’ve been listening in, I’ll explain: Electronic Arts have delayed the PC version of Need for Speed [official site] so they can put extra time in to make it run happily with an unlocked framerate.

A blog post on the NFS site explains the team have been spending time on Twitter and Reddit and Facebook and YouTube and all that – which sounds like slacking off to me – chatting with people.

“Part of the conversation includes hearing from our PC community that an unlocked frame rate in Need for Speed is a massive priority for you, and we fully agree. To deliver this, we’ve made the decision to move the PC release date to Spring 2016.

“… This decision on PC gives us the necessary development time to increase the visuals that we can deliver on PC. We will also include content updates that will have been released on console up to that time, making them available to all PC players from day one.”

The console versions are still on track to launch in early November. Making a game run happily with an unlocked framerate – it’ll push out pictures as fast as your hardware can, rather than limit to perhaps 30 or 60fps – is likely to take extra development work if you haven’t built a game with that in mind from the start. All the same, I do wonder if this is only part of the reason for the delay – a crowd-pleasing part to focus on and soften the blow.

27 Comments

  1. Matt_Ceb says:

    All the same, I do wonder if this is only part of the reason for the day[…]

    Still using Dragon Dictate? ;)

    (Pretty sure that last “day” should be “delay”.)

    As to the delay itself? … Good!
    I’d rather have a game later and working than… Well… Arkham Knight. ;)

  2. cqdemal says:

    Since this November, like most other Novembers, are chock-full of GIANT MEGA-BUDGET TIMESINK GAMES, NFS getting booted to 2016 makes me a tiny bit happier since I’m sort of interested and this makes it less likely for me to forget about it.

    Unless it lands right in the middle of the Deus Ex-XCOM-Mirror’s Edge triptych.

  3. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Am I just now noticing the way it’s always been, or has there been a change at RPS?

    The ratio of real content to reposted press-releases about minor game updates and pre-release videos seems to be skewing heavily towards the latter lately. It’s gotten to the point where the front page has two real features – one lengthy and thought provoking and one “Have you played?”

    • jonfitt says:

      It’s the way it has been for as long as I recall. The first days of RPS are a bit hazy in my memory. There’s just a lot of game news nowadays and people like to read it on RPS. News posts about popular games are hugely popular posts and according to the hivemind top the most read charts.

      The tabs at the top let you filter out to just the articles or reviews etc.

      I do like to see my news posts with a soupcon of opinion, I do like it when the newshound is not afraid to reframe the news in a new light.
      For instance here there’s the hint that it might be a normal PC delay reframed as “we take you super seriously”. But also, I would throw in the idea that’s maybe hinted at in the title: is this to do with those whiners in that framerate steam group?

    • melnificent says:

      Supporter stuff has got similarly sparse. Down from the promised once a week day to something sparser and more random.

    • LionsPhil says:

      If anything, I’d say it’s improved under Alice’s watch, since at least when she’s posting she puts some editorial opinion on the press release, that shows some awareness of surrounding and previous context (like here, with the “crowd-pleasing” part, and in general picking up on developers’/publishers’ previous track records when they make claims).

      Alice is the best hire RPS have made since Tim Stone, and I’m not sure he wasn’t there from the start, lurking under a sheet of hex-grid camo netting.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      We always post 3-5 features a day. Today it’s three: RPG Scrollbars, 6 things wrong with Phantom Pain, and at 10pm, Premature Evaluation. I don’t think that’s changed recently, it’s been that way at least since I joined two years ago. As always, we also post very few features over the weekend, so of course if you look on a Monday morning it looks like there’s more news.

      Perhaps that’s what’s changed. We didn’t used to post news at weekends, and now we do ten stories across Sat/Sun.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        That may be it. I’m just not used to scrolling past a page full of dross to get to the Sunday Papers.

        • Premium User Badge

          Graham Smith says:

          I don’t agree that it’s dross, but to each their own.

    • GWOP says:

      You’re the only one complaining, mate. I tend to read posts of games I have absolutely no interest in (especially by Alice) because they are pretty entertaining.

  4. John O says:

    Increase the visuals! God i hope they increase those visuals.

  5. Banks says:

    Rivals at 60fps was hilarious, please E4 give us more of that.

  6. XhomeB says:

    One of the most laughable excuses I’ve ever witnessed.
    On the other hand, if they remove the always-online requirement at some point due to the massive backlash from console-only guys, I’m all for delaying the PC version.

    Because they won’t get a dime from me unless there’s an offline mode.

    • Asurmen says:

      See Askham Knight for details as to why it isn’t laughable.

  7. MaXimillion says:

    “We saw what happened with Arkham Knight and would rather avoid a similar PR disaster”

  8. SupahSpankeh says:

    I’ve handily re-written this press release for everyone’s benefit. My services as a copy writer are freely avialable if anyone from a big PR service is reading.

    “Hi people.

    We’ve realised that we can cut down on piracy by significantly delaying the PC version of the game, and even squeeze more than one sale out of people with more than just a single gaming system.

    Further to that, this Steam refunds business has us somewhat concerned about the shoddy state of our ports, and we’d rather not haemorrhage cash on release.

    Unlocking the frames took us about 20 minutes, but bought us a few more months of bug squashing and heaps of additional sales, plus a great deal of cache with frame rate obsessives.

    You’re welcome!”

    • Nereus says:

      You think Steam refunds are going to in any way impact EA and their Origin setup? They already had a 24hr refund system if I remember rightly.

    • Da5e says:

      “My services as a copy writer are freely avialable”

      Heh. Mine aren’t – I can spell “available” and am aware that “copywriter” is all one word, so I’m fully booked!

      Anyway, what’s bad about cutting down on piracy?

    • sweerd says:

      This being about cutting down piracy would be bizarre, because they’ve already made it online only.

    • TalkingPear says:

      I couldn´t agree more. Are we really supposed to get on our knees and applaud them for this?

    • jamesgecko says:

      If the physics engine is tied to the framerate, it will take significantly longer than twenty minutes unlock the FPS and a bunch of testing to find the inevitable bugs that will result.

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into the narrative that big software companies are lazy and that if you employ a lot of people, you can fix anything really quickly. Boring, reasonable truth doesn’t generate outrage!

  9. fredc says:

    If only EA could add in some content. I didn’t mind shift that much, but the last (and presumably final, because EA) good NFS was Porsche Unleashed.

  10. dontnormally says:

    Is this Underground 3?

    • XhomeB says:

      Pretty much in everything but name, yes. Yet EA have the audacity to describe this installment as a “return to the series’ roots”. Funny. Not.