Need for Speed has been around pretty much forever, and has gone through more reboots and incarnations than almost any other video game franchise. This is a concern for EA, who want the franchise to be more cohesive.
EA executive producer Marcus Nilsson has spoken to Joystiq about how the brand has “potentially” lacked a clear strategy.
“That’s something that we, as we get new ownership into it, can react to and try to establish,” Nilsson said at Gamescom, referring to Need for Speed: Rivals developer Ghost Games, which has taken the reigns from Burnout developer Criterion Games.
Need for Speed has been a straight racer, an open world racer, a cross-country dash with shoot-out sections, an underground street racer, a sim-racer and a whole bunch of others that I can’t remember. Nilsson would like to instil a Need for Speed ‘feel’ to every entry in the series.
“When you get The Last of Us you feel like [it's] a Naughty Dog game,” he said. “It’s obviously not Nathan Drake you’re playing, but I still can feel the resemblance – people could argue that’s a black and white offering, I guess. But I want to have continuity. When I pick up the controller, I want it to have a certain feel, I want the car to feel… you know, like an evolution of what I had, but I still want it to feel [like] the same thing.
“Need for Speed is a brand that cannot be driven by different creative ownerships year and year in. When we think about that strategy going forward, we also need to think about what makes sense for the brand in terms of release schedules and everything.”
It might take a while for this cohesion to emerge. In the mean time we have Ghost Game’s first Need for Speed title coming in the form of Rivals. It looks to be a taking its cues from Criterion’s 2010 Hot Pursuit, which is no bad thing.
Rivals is coming to PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on November 19, and will be a next-gen launch title.