It would "limit their creativity and hurt quality." Need for Speed: The Run is due this year and is from Black Box. It uses Frostbite 2 and EA Sports' animation tech.
EA's Need for Speed racing franchise suffered terribly from lacklustre instalments that took the clout out of the name. Fortunately they regrouped and gave Burnout developer Criterion a shot at the alternate racing IP and it paid off handsomely with Hot Pursuit.
"The worst possible idea would be to make Criterion build a game every year," said EA Games head Frank Gibeau. "That would limit their creativity and hurt quality." That's why Need for Speed now has two assigned studios and they'll be alternating releases.
EA are also prioritizing technology by having their internal studios pass around new fancy systems like DICE's Frostbite 2 engine and EA Sports' flagship animation.
"We've designed an alternating strategy in driving for us to continue to build on the high quality we've established with Hot Pursuit and try new things," he continued.
"But at the same time we can share certain technologies and features. The new Need for Speed is on the Frostbite 2 technology, which allows us to do a lot of things we've never been able to do before. We're using the animation system from EA Sports."
"There's a lot of good sharing of technology and tools that allows us to constantly be on the cutting edge of technology but at the same time get the designers and the artists and the creators enough time to craft and polish a great experience."
"We've tried to get a team to do it every year. You burn them out. You can't do it at the level of quality the market wants now." Criterion's Hot Pursuit went with just races and 'battles' as either a racer or a cop, and left out any thread of a storyline.
Black Box is keeping narrative an important part of their Need for Speed offering and The Run features us literally on the run as we try to reach New York from the west coast while having some mobsters and police hot on our tail, which includes on foot segments.
"The vision is it's breakthrough technology," Gibeau continued. "It does things on a rendering level, on an animation level, on a sound level, that a lot of the middleware and other proprietary engines out there in the industry just can't do."
"It happens in the industry where Unreal will come out or the CryEngine will break through. Frostbite is ours. Frostbite will allow us to do things on next-generation technology we're excited about. The idea is we're going to be able to take that engine and put it into different categories. It's very flexible that way," he added.
"It lends itself to a great action experience, to driving as well as to shooting." Frostbite 2 will most prominently feature in DICE's Battlefield 3 of course due later this year.
EA admit "worst possible idea" is Criterion releasing every year
13 June 2011 | By Simon Priest