EA has decided to hit the restart button and split the franchise into 3 different franchises: ‘core’, ‘casual’ and MMO.
Electronic Arts has decided to revamp the NFS franchise, which doesn’t come as a surprise seeing as the franchise was on a slow road downhill since Most Wanted‘s success.
Basically, the franchise will be split into three: a “core” product, a lighter product for casual gamers and an MMO. Surprisingly enough, EA saw fit to reveal more details:
Need for Speed: Shift will be the “core” product, releasing for PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP this autumn. Developed by the team that does GTR, Shift will shift away (pardon the pun) from the previous title that involved urban racing and terrible hip-hop.
It seems that the focus will now go to making the races less arcade-style and more oriented towards giving that “behind-the-wheel” feeling. In the words of marketing boss Keith Munro, “that athleticism of being in a wickedly-intense race”. Sounds great, Keith!
Need for Speed: Nitro will go to the Wii and DS, and will be the more arcade-oriented game of the three. Marketed for casual gamers no doubt, but EA asserts that it won’t be a Mario Kart clone.
“What you’ll see is that Nitro in no way resembles any other previous Need for Speed title.” Sounds good, but there isn’t a lot of info about this title.
Need for Speed: World Online is the MMO branch (anyone remember Motor City Online? No?) and it’ll be a ‘Play 4 Free’ game. You take licensed cars, “pimp” them up and race them against competitors from all across the world.
It will be released in Asia first, and then make its way to North America. It will give more content in terms of cars, mods etc. than another NFS game yet, and will boast sophisticated matchmaking systems, but I bet you knew that.