Driver: San Francisco creative director Martin Edmondson that the game is a reboot, but not for the series.
Edmondson told play.tm that it was a reboot in terms of technology and not much else.
"It's not a reset or a reboot - it's been called a reboot but it's only a reboot in technology in focus, but it's the same characters from Driver 1, 2, and 3 and the story takes place six months or so after the events of Driver 3," he told the site.
He also insists that San Francisco will be a lot easier for someone new to the series to jump into, even though it takes place right after Driver 3.
"if you haven't played Driver 1, 2, or 3 then it doesn't really matter who Jericho is necessarily. If you have then there's a bit of extra meat and flesh to the story. But he's a bad guy, he busts out of prison, Tanner clearly hates, Jones is his partner, etc.
"It forms its own self-contained story. If you want to go off and do the research to find out why he's in prison - well he's been sentenced for the crime of shooting Tanner in Istanbul. That's why Tanner hates him so much. Jones knows why Tanner's so obsessed - why's he so obsessed? Well, he met Jericho two games ago in Driver 2. So you can form that whole thing - we've been very sensitive to the timeline to make it all make sense, but that's there for fans of the original."
Read our recent impressions of the game here. Driver: San Francisco releases on September 2 in the UK for PS3, 360 and PC. A separate Wii version is also on the way.