While investors poured through Electronic Arts' first quarter results looking for good news of the publisher's financial fortunes, gamers taking a peek found both good news and bad. The company's results included a publishing and distribution schedule revealing two unexpected games penciled in for the first quarter of 2011: Crysis 2 and Need for Speed Shift 2, both listed for the console and PC.
Previously, Crysis 2 had been announced as launching in the 2010 holiday season, while Need for Speed Shift 2 hadn't been announced at all. The revelation of Shift 2 being due by March 2011 is especially notable considering it comes on the heels of Criterion Games' much-anticipated first Need for Speed game, Hot Pursuit. Currently, Hot Pursuit is set to arrive in stores November 16.
Crysis 2 sees players fend off an alien threat once again, aided by a nanosuit that grants the user superhuman abilities ranging from speed boosts to active camouflage. One departure the sequel will be taking is in the setting. While the original game featured lush tropical environments, Crysis 2 takes place in the urban jungle of New York City.
Unlike its campy predecessor Need for Speed Undercover, Shift focused more on the experience of driving and was oriented around first-person, in-cockpit perspective racing. Upon its release last September, Shift featured more licensed cars than any previous installment of the series, as well as a number of real-world tracks, including the UK's Brands Hatch course. The game was released on consoles and the PC, with development handled by Slightly Mad Studios in collaboration with EA's Black Box studio.
For more on Crysis 2, check out GameSpot's latest preview.
[UPDATE] In a post-earnings conference call, EA's John Schappert said Crysis 2 was delayed for a "better window and polishing."
Another title lurking in the publisher's quarterly report was the acknowledgement of Dead Space 2 coming not just to the PC and consoles, but also to handhelds and mobile phones. EA didn't specify if the "handheld" designation indicated a PSP, DS, or even a 3DS installment in the survival horror franchise.
The Dead Space brand is spreading faster than a necromorph infestation. EA has already documented a multimedia blitz for the series involving comics, novels, and animated films, and recently registered a URL for a Dead Space Sabotage Web site.