Need for Speed franchise will not go back to Criterion Games

By Prarthito Maity , Updated Aug 30, 2013 11:26 AM EDT
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The popular racing-based franchise Need for Speed is first known for its gripping racing scenarios with excellent handling of the in-game cars, and secondly for the way the franchise has been bouncing back and forth between different studios. But all the of that bouncing around is about to change.

Recently, speaking to VideoGamer about the future of the Need for Speed racing series at Gamescom, Ghost Games studio head Marcus Nilsson said that he believes that the franchise needs continuity, and that EA is "now thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it".

"It cannot go from black to white between Black Box and Criterion, and that's why we're now thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it," he stated. "We're going to build it, we're going to build it on Frostbite 3, [and] people will see something they are familiar with every time we release the game. And I think that is the core basis of building a brand; that people know what to expect."

Nilsson went on to state that he believes that the series needs to remain consistent with each release to avoid any unwanted "confusion" and "lose credibility," with pursuits, online open worlds, and a narrative that will form a key part of the Need For Speed experience.

"When you go from a Shift experience to The Run experience to a Hot Pursuit experience, then it loses credibility," Nilsson continued. "I think we now have the work of re-establishing that credibility with building the brand. You know, it's still a really strong brand, absolutely. We just need to make sure people know what to expect when they get it, and Rivals is absolutely the first step toward that,” he added.

"Need For Speed is not going to go away, right? It's not the final or last step of that. But what you see in Rivals, a lot of those things will carry on going forward and myself and Rivals will be involved in shaping that."

Nilsson, who previously served as executive producer on Shift 2: Unleashed, stated that there's currently a small part of Criterion that’s working on something else.

“Criterion is absolutely helping us out a lot on this game and would we make something next year or whenever we do it, it's going to be something that is ultimately driven from Ghost."

The next Need For Speed title on deck, Need For Speed: Rivals is set for releases on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on Nov. 19, with versions for PS4 and Xbox one arriving alongside the new consoles.

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