A new Need for Speed game will arrive by next year

After a reboot in 2015 and a complete no-show last year, Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed franchise is making its return, and the publisher believes that the extra wait will be worth it for longtime fans.

“We’ve given this game an extended development cycle to focus on innovation, and the Need for Speed team is pushing the boundaries of action driving with what we believe is the most exciting and best-looking Need for Speed game we’ve ever produced,” said Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson during an investor briefing Tuesday.

The announcement doesn’t make any mention of the studio responsible for developing the new Need for Speed game. For the last several years, the franchise has been handled by Ghost Games.

Prior to that, Burnout and Black developer Criterion Games was in charge, developing the excellent Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Following those games, the developer began development an extreme sports racing game, but it was canceled and Criterion is now primarily working on Star Wars projects.

The last two installments, however, didn’t quite live up to the franchise’s usually lofty standards. Need for Speed: Rivals launched alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but also released on last-generation consoles and failed to show off the power of the new systems. After a year off in 2014, the series was rebooted with Need for Speed in 2015. We called it a “mixed bag of tricks that the series has picked up over the years” and criticized the cheesy full-motion video sections that move forward the game’s cringe-worthy story.

With any luck, this new entry will return to the arcade-focused, fun-over-realism style that made the Need for Speed series so great, allowing other, more authentic simulations like Forza and Gran Turismo to offer a different take on the genre.

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