"cannot go from black to white" anymore.
Black Box and Criterion had their own styles for Need for Speed, and that caused the veteran racer franchise to 'lose credibility'. Now fans will "know what to expect".
Black Box favoured a linear and story-driven direction, as with The Run, but Criterion wasn't interested in pursuing a narrative and preferred a more open world approach.
"It cannot go from black to white between Black Box and Criterion, and that’s why we’re now thinking about the brand as Ghost owns it,” said Ghost Games boss Marcus Nilsson.
"We’re going to build it, we’re going to build it on Frostbite 3, 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.”
The inconsistent develop cycles for Need for Speed weren't doing it any favours. “When you go from a Shift experience to The Run experience to a Hot Pursuit experience, then it loses credibility. I think we now have the work of re-establishing that credibility with building the brand. You know, it’s still a really strong brand, absolutely. We just need to make sure people know what to expect when they get it, and Rivals is absolutely the first step toward that,” he said.
Burnout developer Criterion is credited with reviving the flagging Need for Speed IP with their reboot of Hot Pursuit.
"Need For Speed is not going to go away, right? It’s not the final or last step of that. But what you see in Rivals, a lot of those things will carry on going forward and myself and Rivals will be involved in shaping that.” Criterion didn't use DICE's Frostbite 3 engine to build Most Wanted; only Black Box utilised it with The Run.
Need For Speed: Rivals releases on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 November 19th. Xbox One and PS4 in November.