Ghost Games, EA’s new Gothenburg-based studio, has been given complete control of the Need for Speed franchise.
Ghost Games boss Marcus Nilsson revealed to VideoGamer that the studio now has sole ownership, adding that the franchise will no longer be bounced around various EA studios. “Need For Speed needs continuity,” he said. “Now [EA is] thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it. It cannot go from black to white between Black Box and Criterion, and that’s why we’re now thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it.
“We’re going to build it, we’re going to build it on Frostbite 3, [and] people will see something they are familiar with every time we release the game. And I think that is the core basis of building a brand; that people know what to expect.”
Nilsson served as executive producer on Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed, and he believes that the franchise needs consistency. “When you go from a Shift experience to The Run experience to a Hot Pursuit experience, then it loses credibility,” he explained. “I think we now have the work of re-establishing that credibility with building the brand. You know, it’s still a really strong brand, absolutely. We just need to make sure people know what to expect when they get it, and Rivals is absolutely the first step toward that.
“Need For Speed is not going to go away, right? It’s not the final or last step of that. But what you see in Rivals, a lot of those things will carry on going forward and myself and Rivals will be involved in shaping that.”
Need for Speed: Rivals is currently in development at Ghost Games “in association with Criterion Games.” Nilsson stated that Criterion’s future involvement in the franchise will be diminished going forward. “Criterion is absolutely helping us out a lot on this game and would we make something next year or whenever we do it, it’s going to be something that is ultimately driven from Ghost… There’s a small part of Criterion working on something else.”