Popular racing franchise Need for Speed has been taken over by Ghost Games, just a year after the series seemed to be taken over by Criterion.
The move was announced by the head of the Swedish studio, Marcus Nilsson, in an interview with videogamer.com. This will apparently result in a change for future Need for Speed games as Nilsson seems keen to impose a recognisable Ghost stamp on the series.
In the interview Nilsson threw around words like “continuity” and claimed he wanted to avoid “confusion”. The previous manner in which Need for Speed was built apparently caused a loss in “credibility” from the franchise, as users did not know what to expect from a Need for Speed title, due to the different approaches from different developers.
This surely was the goal when control of the franchise was handed to Criterion last year, however their involvement in future titles now seems up in the air, and with rumours going around that they’ll be releasing a non-driving game it appears that ties with Need for Speed have been severed.
Criterion did play a big hand in the upcoming release Need for Speed: Rivals, due for release in November, however they did so alongside Ghost Games.
Despite Criterion’s big role in Rivals it seems that Nilsson wants the new title of the flagship racer to be the first step towards this new vision of continuity for the brand, as he claimed “Rivals is absolutely the first step towards [credibility and continuity]”.
So this will spell the end of the usual two year schedule, which usually dictated the back and forth movement of Need for Speed between two different developers.
Personally I think Nilsson’s goal is a worthy one, everyone likes continuity from a brand and entering into a game where you pretty much know how the whole thing is going to run is good, but there are disadvantages to this approach.
Sure having different developers can cause some players to love certain games of a franchise and absolutely despise others, however having different studios take on a game from the same brand can result in welcome diversity. Of course there is always the option for players to avoid the title that is produced by the developer they dislike, I know people who exclusively buy Treyarch’s take on Call of Duty for example.
I’d love to hear from you guys on this, is this something that you welcome as you like knowing the sort of game you are going to get in a certain brand or will you miss Criterion’s take on Need for Speed?