The rumored death of the Need For Speed franchise has been greatly exaggerated. EA has announced in an interview with Gamespot that they are splitting the Need For Speed brand into three separate titles.
Need for Speed: Shift (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP) — A “hardcore racing simulation” overseen by Black Box executive producer Michael Mann, and Patrick Soderlund, the co-founder of DICE and current senior vice president of EA Games Europe. External developer Slightly Mad Studios will be responsible for putting a realistic spin on the franchise.
Need for Speed: Nitro (Wii, DS) — As you might expect, this one will feature a “unique visual style,” courtesy of EA Montreal. Nitro promises to take full advantage of the unique controls on offer for both platforms, but without sacrificing depth. According to Munro, “We do not want to fall into the trap of creating a ‘Need for Speed Lite.'”
Need for Speed: World Online (PC) — Jointly developed by Black Box and EA Shanghai, this free-to-play online racer is set to launch in Asia this Summer, with a North American release slated for next Winter.
Personally, I’m not thrilled to see the Need For Speed franchise go towards being a hardcore racing simulation with Shift, but I am intrigued by the prospect of NSF World Online.