Need for Speed franchise now headed by Ghost Games

After working with Criterion on Need for Speed: Rivals, Ghost Games will take full control of the racing franchise going forward.

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Ghost Games' first foray into the Need for Speed franchise is the upcoming Rivals. However, executive producer Marcus Nilsson revealed that this isn't a one-off. In fact, the studio is taking full control of the franchise going forward.

Nilsson explained to VideoGamer that the decision was out of a desire for continuity. "It cannot go from black to white between Black Box (Need for Speed: The Run) and Criterion (Need for Speed: Most Wanted), and that's why we're now thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it," he said. "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." EA later commented that Nilsson's comments are fully accurate.

Meanwhile, Criterion has been working on an undisclosed project. While fans may desire a new Burnout, it appears that the studio will move away from racing and create something entirely new.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 29, 2013 3:45 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Need for Speed franchise now headed by Ghost Games.

    After working with Criterion on Need for Speed: Rivals, Ghost Games will take full control of the racing franchise going forward.

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      August 29, 2013 3:46 PM

      sorry to hear that

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      August 29, 2013 3:47 PM

      Good, now let Criterion make a new Burnout game that is not open world and goes back to Revenge style racing.

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        August 29, 2013 4:33 PM

        INF

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        August 29, 2013 4:45 PM

        Revenge was dreadful. Burnout 2 was the best in the series, before EA came in and messed everything up. From best to worst it went:

        Burnout 2 - Awesome gameplay, music, control. One of the most fun driving games ever.

        Burnout 1 - A lot of fun at the time, though might not look so good if I played it now

        Burnout 3 Takedown - The core gameplay was still intact but was ruined but stuff like EA Trax, Striker at Crash FM, and that stupid Matrix effect EA insisted featured in every game.

        Burnout Revenge - Utter crap. Burnout was previously about driving recklessly without crashing, but this encouraged crashing. The game was totally ruined. Plus it had all the EA stuff from Takedown. I put it in the bin after a couple of hours.

        Burnout Paradise - Bought it in a sale for next to nothing. It wasn't even worth what I paid.

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          August 29, 2013 4:49 PM

          Mr Milquetoast, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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          August 29, 2013 5:03 PM

          You sir, are on crack. Burnout 3 Takedown is probably one of the best arcade driving games.. Ever.. Being able to take cars out at break neck speeds and watch a car fly off of a bridge in slow motion was pretty breathtaking at the time it came out. Not to mention the awesome handling, online play, particle effects. Yeah, just be quiet! :P

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            August 29, 2013 6:53 PM

            Yeah it was.

            And why complain about EA Trax? It allowed custom soundtracks. Was a bit of a pain as you had to rip the music from CDs on the Xbox itself back then, but more than worth it.

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              August 30, 2013 8:11 AM

              The music in Burnout 2 matched the gameplay perfectly, and dynamically adjusted to match the game so when you used your boost an extra layer of music would come on. This added greatly to the excitement and overall experience.

              Meanwhile, the EA Trax included in Burnout 3 didn't match the gameplay at all. It was a random assortment of licensed crap which felt completely detached from the game and actually detracted from the gamplay. I ended up turning the music off entirely.

              Sure, you could rip your own tracks, but it still wouldn't work nearly as well as music created specifically for the game which adapted dynamically to what's happening in game. I personally don't have any music that would match the game particularly well anyway.

              EA Trax are a really bad idea in any game, and a custom soundtrack designed to match the gameplay is always far superior. Using EA Trax is like having a selection of random songs playing as a movie soundtrack. No movie maker would ever do that because it wouldn't match what was happening on screen, would feel detached from the movie and would detract from the movie.

              Ultimately, the music in Burnout 2 was awesome and added greatly to the gameplay. The music in Burnout 3 was crap and made the game worse.

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            August 29, 2013 11:50 PM

            I feel Burnout 2 was a much better racing game than 3. It had much better track design with actual corners and the occasional hairpin. 3 was more about going flat-out and wrecking other dudes. You practically only used the brake for initiating drifts.

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              August 30, 2013 2:56 AM

              For 3 they really focused on making car combat feel like a fighting game, they said that was their intention. That's why it fucking ruled and is my favourite of the lot.

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                August 30, 2013 4:24 AM

                Yeah, I get why people liked it. But I also completely understand the people who rag on the later Burnout games, because they felt like the actual driving took a backseat to the carnage and mayhem. As a driving game, 3 doesn't hold a candle to 2.

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                  August 31, 2013 12:21 AM

                  I wouldn't say Burnout was ever about anything more than crashing. There Re plenty of driving games, the crashes and causing them were always its strong point.

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                    August 31, 2013 1:29 AM

                    It wasn't until 3 the game began encouraging takedowns. Both 1 and 2 were about driving recklessly to go faster, but it was still about who could go the fastest.

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            August 30, 2013 6:05 AM

            IAWTYSAOC.

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          August 29, 2013 5:27 PM

          Wow. Paradise was probably the best arcade racer I played in the last decade.

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          August 29, 2013 5:34 PM

          Yeah, gotta disagree. Paradise is an amazing game. Even after I finished leveling up my license I still spent hours just driving around the city and jumping off of things and looking for signs to crash through.

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          August 29, 2013 6:22 PM

          Completely agree with you mr milquetoast. Trax was awful the dynamic original sound track in burnout 2 was awesome. Paradise was a nightmare having to freaking drive to every single even instantly turned me off in what is supposed to be a arcade racer.

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            August 30, 2013 2:57 AM

            Didn't they patch Paradise to make race starts/restarts easier?

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          August 29, 2013 6:47 PM

          Burnout Dominator > *

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            August 30, 2013 2:57 AM

            Really? I enjoyed the previous PSP (which was basically a greatest hits) one but never payed this. Why so good?

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              August 30, 2013 4:23 AM

              Dominator takes all the best mechanics and modes from 2 and 3 and combines them with the great engine of Revenge.

              Legends felt a lot like a watered down 3 hastily crammed onto the PSP

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                August 30, 2013 10:59 AM

                Oh Legends was a rush job, sure. I might grab Dominator then, thanks.

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          August 29, 2013 7:17 PM

          I loved Burnout 2 for the Gamecube, but Burnout 3 really got to me. It's my favorite racing game ever. I 100% it. I loved Crash mode and races. It was awesome. I don't like Paradise as much, but I'm glad I got it in a recent sale.

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          August 29, 2013 11:45 PM

          That's like....your opinion, man.

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        August 30, 2013 3:19 AM

        THIS.

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          August 30, 2013 3:20 AM

          Whoops mis-reply, meant for sigpro. I would rather a Paradise sequel.

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            August 30, 2013 3:20 AM

            Oh I did reply to sigpro... this is what flying for 15 hours straight and being jet lagged will do to your brain, kids.

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        August 30, 2013 5:45 AM

        I respectfully disagree.

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      August 29, 2013 3:48 PM

      That's too bad.. Criterion seemed to be doing a good job. But on the other hand... I'm fully ready for a new Burnout title!!

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      August 29, 2013 4:05 PM

      I'm kinda scared to ask how Black Box is doing these days, especially considering that their last released title has the dubious distinction of being a racing game with on-foot Quick Time Events: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgmb8Rg69vY#t=140s

      "That's right: for the first time EVER in Need For Speed, players will place intense, high-action moments ON FOOT, as well as in-car." Ugh, who greenlit that? I know that the racing game market has drastically changed since the early 2000's, now that both high-performance first-party console developers have their own established franchises (Forza and Gran Turismo), and there's iRacing for hardcore PC, and Project CARS is still developing. Looking back at Black Box's last few Need Fore Speed games (Carbon, ProStreet, Undercover, The Run), there's not much room for that kind of game (and definitely not much room in EA's budget for Black Box to turn out another middling release that gets buried under Gran Turismo and Forza).

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        August 30, 2013 10:59 AM

        I have played every single NFS and to be honest, The Run was the most fun I had in an arcade racer this past generation. The visuals were absolutely fantastic and each race (because of the narrative) was different than the previous.. oh wait, and they somehow managed to inject a bit of narrative (as cheesy as it was) to a racing game. At least there is a sense of progression in the game, unlike the most recent entries.

        The on-foot sequences are probably 4 QTE sections.. just get over it. I hate QTEs too, but it was not a big deal in this one. There are so many good memorable races in The Run that very much trump all that on-foot nonsense. (The SF pier one, the avalanche in Denver, the crazy sandstorm in Vegas, Chicago under the train tracks, and best of all, the midwest driving in rain and lighting)

        The reason the game got shafted is that you can finish the whole thing is less than 2-3 hours. You can easily find the game for cheap to justify that gameplay time nowadays.

        Also, I still think Blackbox is very talented. The only good thing in MOH Warfighrter were the driving sections done by Blackbox.

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      August 29, 2013 4:28 PM

      I don't see how anyone could say Criterion did a good job with this game. It has been riddled with bugs since release that they have no intention of fixing.

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      August 30, 2013 12:09 AM

      Criterion's Most Wanted was the first NFS I cared about since Porsche.

      This proves nothing and is most probably a coincidence though. I'm just throwing it here as useless anecdotal evidence.

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      August 30, 2013 11:20 PM

      NFS: Porsche Unleashed was the last great NFS. The series has been dead longer than most successful ones have been alive.