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Need for Speed franchise strives to feel more cohesive


EA executive producer Marcus Nilsson told Joystiq he wants the Need for Speed franchise to have more continuity, and for its various games to feel more connected to one another. Looking back on the uneven history of Need for Speed games (remember that one where you took down an international crime syndicate?), Nilsson said the brand has "potentially" lacked some clear strategy for where it's going.

"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 on the racer franchise from Criterion Games.

That goal becomes complicated when there's a movie in the mix, though Nilsson said there is "inspiration going back and forth" between Hollywood and EA. "But what I'm saying in the future is that there'll be probably be a much more handheld approach between where you see each product of Need for Speed going, like you can understand what's happening.

"Why does it have to be: okay, Need for Speed this series is black, Need for Speed that year is white. Whatever I do, I want to know [what I'm getting]."

Over the last ten years the Need for Speed franchise has donned many guises, including the street styles of the Underground games, the racing sim-like Shift entries, and the more story-orientated The Run. Nilsson believes the Need for Speed brand would benefit from its games feeling more like each other.

"When you get The Last of Us you feel like [it's] a Naughty Dog game," he continued. "It's obviously not Nathan Drake [of the Uncharted games] 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."

Ghost Games' first foray into a more cohesive Need for Speed is Rivals, which will be available on Xbox One and PS4 at launch, and on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC on November 19.

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