Need for Speed: Rivals runs at 30 frames per second instead of 60 fps, is due to the game's AllDrive feature, according to Ghost.
Speaking with Eurogamer at gamescom, executive producer Marcus Nilsson due to everything going on with the feature - matchmaking, completing Assignments, Speed Lists, etc. - the teams wanted everything to run smoothly because there's so much happening at once.
"It is a choice we made to be able to push what we believe is really important for our typical gamer: get a lot of things happening on the screen at the same time," Nilsson said. "Anything can happen in AllDrive. That's the key innovation with this game. You don't have single-player, co-op or multiplayer. It just happens seamlessly.
"I could be playing the game, setting a time, and all of a sudden you could come into that world, and you could be carrying AI, I could be carrying AI, and all of a sudden, on that screen, there are a lot of cars. We always have to budget for the worst case scenario.
"So in this case we've prioritized the gameplay, because we think 30fps is giving a satisfactory experience."
Another reason is due to the number of players on screen at once. Currently capped at six for current-gen systems, the figure might change upon release and could expand on PC and next-gen consoles.
"I honestly think the most enjoyable version of this will be around a few friends," Nilsson added. "Since we discovered AllDrive, we've never gone for 24 or 36 players, because it doesn't make sense. It just becomes chaos. You've seen how online racing games behave, right? Unless you're number one, it's boring.
"This way you can all have fun playing together but fulfilling your own objectives."
Need for Speed: Rivals will release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 November 19, and will be a next-gen launch title.