Need for Speed MMO Launching Summer 2010, Closed English Beta Now Underway

BOOM widget 95842 Black Box's free-to-play massively multiplayer racer Need for Speed Online (PC) is now slated to make its public launch in summer 2010, publisher Electronic Arts announced today.

Prior to the game's public launch, the studio is conducting an ever-expanding closed beta, with the English portion kicking off today. Those interested can sign up for a shot at participating over at world.needforspeed.com.

"Need for Speed World is the world's first MMO racer - a completely new entertainment experience for speed junkies all over the world," producer John Doyle boasted in today's announcement, apparently overlooking EA's long-defunct Motor City Online--originally a Need for Speed title--and Invictus' free-to-play online racer Project Torque.

"We have expanded Need for Speed's classic adrenaline fueled racing with an all-new power up system and deep RPG style progression to create a truly massive, socially-connected white-knuckle Need for Speed experience," he added. BOOM video 4394

Announced just over a year ago in January 2009, Need for Speed World Online was initially slated to hit Asia in summer 2009 and then North America in winter 2009, with development shared between EA Singapore and series veteran Black Box.

Along with word of the new release window, EA passed over some new details:

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience. For the first time in a racing game, players will be able to compete against any one of their friends, family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits across 150 miles of sprawling open world. Need for Speed World takes the well known and popular cities from Need for Speed Most Wanted and Need for Speed Carbon to create the biggest, most exciting race world ever released in the Need for Speed universe.

Thanks to deadearth, barichnikov and watcherxp the Motor City and Torque reminders.