The Need for Speed franchise is switching labels, away from EA's general gaming label to EA Sports. It's in the game now!
In many ways, the transition makes a lot of sense. The franchise has been annualized for many years already, and racing is already a sport. However, the main reason for the switch is to get new eyes on the franchise.
EA VP Patrick Soderlund explained that the move "could benefit [the series] from fresh eyes, could benefit from some different thinking." One of the reasons why EA Sports is such a good fit for Need for Speed is the focus on how games feel. "When you play a sports game, the controller in your hand will dictate how good the game is. It's all about player control and input and how it feels. It's a feeling, right? I think that focus on pure gameplay, is something that can benefit the Need for Speed brand in a very positive way," he told Polygon.
While the franchise may be joining the Sports label, it doesn't mean that the series will necessarily become more sim-like, with Soderland saying that would be "highly unlikely." And just because the series will be branded EA Sports, that doesn't mean Tiburon will be developing the series all of a sudden. The franchise is still being helmed by Ghost Games, comprised of former members of Criterion.