Jan 30, 2009

EA Games today announced massive plans for the Need for Speed franchise with probably the biggest plans in the game’s history and certainly the most exciting as we reveal what’s in store for the next 12 months. As the game expands to new platforms, new genres and new media, game teams worldwide are working hard to deliver the best game possible for all three games. We listened to the gamers when they told us they wanted a wider range of experiences and now we're able to reveal more detail about the games.

Keith Munro, vice president of marketing told us: “We recognize racing videogame fans are very passionate and unique -- they want customized gameplay experiences. Whether it’s more of a realistic driving game with accurate car physics or over-the-top cop chases, we are making different games for different audiences. Each game provides a deep, engaging and rich racing experience. We’re giving players the option to choose the best racing title that suits their style of gameplay.”

Need for Speed SHIFT

Imagine a racing game built by racers for racers and you'll have a good idea of what to expect with Need for Speed SHIFT. It’ll introduce gamers into a level of realism never before seen in a Need for Speed title, offering an incredible authentic and immersive driving experience.

Need for Speed SHIFT has been designed to replicate the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars and features a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit viewpoint and an all-new crash engine which offers an unrivaled sensation of racing at high speed.

The game is being developed using a collaborative model with some of the best racing game talent from around the world. Some key names behind the game are Michael Mann (executive producer at Black Box), Patrick Soderlund (senior vp of EA Games) and Slightly Mad Studios in London. SMS, or to give them their former name, Blimey, should be well-known to the racing crowd as the developers behind such classic racing games as GT Legends and GTR 2.

In addition to his credentials as the head of DICE, Patrick Soderlund is also part of a racing team that recently competed in the fourth edition of the TOYO TIRES 24H Dubai 2009, the first major race event of the year where his team ranked fifth. Soderlund and the SHIFT development team is committed to bringing the on-the-track experience to players across the world. You can read more about this event here.

Expect to be playing SHIFT in Fall 2009. It will be available on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and PSP.

Need for Speed NITRO (Working Title)

The game is being developed specifically for the Nintendo titles and comes with a unique visual design and new gameplay ideas. As you’d expect from all the Need for Speed games there’s a huge catalogue of licensed cars to choose from, all fully customizable to really show off your own style.

In Need for Speed NITRO gamers can build up their boost as they drift and drag behind their opponents and use it strategically to change the course of the race but they’ll always have to be on the look-out for cops!

Need for Speed NITRO is being developed by the EA Montreal team who have a strong history of developing for the Nintendo platforms and are designing the game specifically with the Nintendo hardware in full focus.

Need for Speed nitro will be available in Fall 2009 for the Nintendo Wii and DS.

Need for Speed World Online

Perhaps the most innovative of the games announced today is Need for Speed World Online. This is a Play 4 Free racing game designed exclusively for the PC. The game will give Need for Speed fans the most licensed cars, parts and game modes ever in Need for Speed’s history. Players will prove their racing supremacy through the sophisticated online matchmaking features and the more flamboyant gamers will get the chance to show off their skills through customizable rides and user profiles.

Need for Speed World Online will begin in Asia Summer 2009. The game is being co-developed with Black Box and EA Singapore.

EA and Black Box will have more news about the Need for Speed franchise in the months ahead but we’d love to hear what you think about what you’ve read today so email me at Andrew@needforspeed.com


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