EA gasses up Need for Speed Undercover

Publisher's popular street racer being tuned for later this year; EA CEO says "we were torturing" Vancouver studio with short dev cycle.

EA's presence at the William Blair & Company Growth Stock Conference in Chicago has yielded more than a few sparkly gems of information concerning the publisher's upcoming lineup. One such bauble was a narrowed release window to Q1 2009 for BioWare's Dragon Age and Pandemic Studios' Saboteur. Another concerns the follow-up to 2006's Godfather, which will apparently feature a top-down strategy mode.

Yet one more gem concerns details of the next installment in the publisher's street-racing franchise Need for Speed. During a Q&A session with investors, EA CEO John Riccitiello said Need for Speed Undercover would roll out later this year.

Riccitiello, who in the past has expressed desire to vastly improve aggregate Metacritic scores across EA's board, first lamented the final outcome of last year's modestly received Need for Speed ProStreet. "I was pretty disappointed with Need for Speed last year," commented Riccitiello. "I thought it was OK game in terms of gameplay, if not good. But, who wanted ProStreet? It was this sort of made up, put numbers on the side of your car, and pretend to drive your Ferrari where, or your Porsche where?"

The outspoken CEO then laid out what EA plans to do to improve the Need for Speed franchise as its Vancouver studio gears up for Undercover. "This year, we are [making] Need for Speed Undercover, with a very strong mission structure along the lines of, I don't know if any of you saw movies like The Transporter," said Riccitiello, referring to the 2002 Corey Yeun-directed, Jason Statham-starring action film.

Expounding on how modeling a game after a low-rent film could ever be considered a good idea, Riccitiello said, "We resurrected the game when we brought out Most Wanted and then Undergound--the sort of chase and be chased, and the whole underground ethos of street racing at 3:00 in the morning...Now we're coming back with a strong narrative hook, and I feel really good about the title."

Riccitiello also noted that the Vancouver team developing the Need for Speed franchise has been both expanded and split into two. As an outcome of the move, Need for Speed titles will now be on a 24-month development cycle, as opposed to 12 months, since two independent teams will work on alternating installments.

"We were torturing a very talented group of people up in Vancouver, which makes it harder to be as innovative every year," commented Riccitiello. "I'm confident that Undercover is a much better game than ProStreet, and I expect that from this point forward that we'll do a lot better."

Riccitiello gave no indication of platforms or release dates for Undercover. However, previous installments have typically released mid-November on all relevant platforms.

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Discussion

306 comments
hotrider12
hotrider12

I told you guys this game is full of sh't now you know

codename-60091
codename-60091

NOW, that's an apology that we want to hear as loyal fans!!! Since you made this statement, my flame on NFS is much more better!! NOW CUT THE NFS-UC retail PRICE more this time, OR I WONT BUY after u rip me off last time!!!!

hotrider12
hotrider12

can someone tell me how in the hell your working for the cops and being chase by the cops??

killmess
killmess

Most wanted FTW. I liked free roaming, daylight racing, good graphics, big world. I'd like something like grid, but need for speed way. Daylight(MW/GRID), good landscape(MW/GRID), free roaming(MW), good cars from the beginning(like GRID), easy to drive with the keyboard(MW), drift (underground 2,GRID), "DISTURBED" soundtrack(MW) "decadence-disturbed" on most wanted was the best music!. And for those who have a good wheel, three independient pedals and H gears. And NO DRAG RACING!!!

hotrider12
hotrider12

just heard through the grapevine a need for speed movie coming out in 2010 ?? has anyone else heard that??? hope its not base on fast and the ferious movie

kwildgun
kwildgun

How about EA adding features and leaving them in, rather that messing the game up. I'm sick and tired of EA creating a totally awesome NFS game and then stripping ever element out of it with another iteration. My advise to EA! is to take NFS Underground 2 and use its core mechanics to build something fresh with new graphics (Shader Model 3.0 wink wink). An open world as big as Grand Theft Auto. A group of writers that can actually write a awesome story for the game. If EA wants to really bring NFS series back they need take 3-5 years rather 24 months. it is even more disturbing that they only took 12 months for Pro Street, that is why that game sucked b@##$. It looks to me like EA cares more about the money than they do quality. If EA buys out Take Two, then I'm not buying another Grand Theft Auto game as long as I live. I'll bet EA will give the development team less time to make a GTA game than Take Two did! After GTA4 the series is going down hill when EA takes over. Good Bye GTA I LOVE AND WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU>Can't believe the day would come when I would have to say this, how depressing P.S. Good Bye Need For Speed I LOVE AND WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU. EA you get my money no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hotrider12
hotrider12

just heard through the grapevine a need for speed movie coming out in 2010 ?? has anyone else heard that??? hope its not base on fast and the ferious movie

PLAYER-ONE
PLAYER-ONE

what we really want is UNDERGROUND 3!!!! (just like underground 2, but with cops, and the cool speadbrreaker...oh and the NEON!!!)...better gameplay too...but somebody please tell me....WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NEON!!!

PLAYER-ONE
PLAYER-ONE

what we really want is UNDERGROUND 3!!!! (just like underground 2, but with cops, and the cool speadbrreaker...oh and the NEON!!!)...better gameplay too...but somebody please tell me....WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NEON!!!

hotrider12
hotrider12

in any event undercover should have re-play

hotrider12
hotrider12

Im playing NFS hotpursuit2 right now for the first time I witness the cop helicoptor shoot out a missle on me wow!!!!!!!! I thought only bomb barrels

hotrider12
hotrider12

f undercover is like most wanted I will not buy it. why can't you next-gen player see most wanted is crappy?? we need a classic NFS up-dated we dont need a black list to climb up, we dont need drifting. drag racing YES!!! added .... no more street racing b.s AND MOST OF ALL COP CHASING. any NFS game without cops is not worth buying!!!!!!!!!!!! prostreets is proof

thatmy
thatmy

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thatmy
thatmy

Rubbish, EA! your torturing SHARK! same like Crysis! and many other gaames too so dun anyhow Bull lying us again!

afrosud12
afrosud12

if midnight club LA uses Megan fox as their cover girl. they may as well just stop developing and save money on buying discs. cause MNC will have solid gameplay no questions asked. now NFS on the otherhand basically has to.... You know what, heck with it. Just make another NFS underground 2 with police chasing you, faster cars and better graphics cause really that would please us all. Hop to it EA

kartik24
kartik24

if they don't do something good midnight club will grab the hot seat I'm pretty sure...it looks hot!!

kartik24
kartik24

i have a feeling that this game will create quite a racket in the racing scene after all need for speed has gone through....it might make a solid come back...IT SHOULD!!!! if this isn't good i wouldn't bother to even look at the previews of the future of this series all the best nfs....we're watching.......

hotrider12
hotrider12

I agree with you uruhatrigger video of gameplay would be nice for crying out loud. more than a micro sec.

UruhaTrigger
UruhaTrigger

It sounds really good but if they create another preview of the game....I hope they will have game-play photos or--even just a photo of what the game will look like....

LOVER2281
LOVER2281

I played all the Need For Speed games and i hoping this one is a bigger step up from Carbon & Most Wanted !!

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

I just want to know about the drift modes. Replays too actually... Oh, and the whole Underground 2 fully functional tuning/customization as well...

hotrider12
hotrider12

Riccitiello said, "We resurrected the game when we brought out Most Wanted and then Undergound--the sort of chase and be chased, and the whole underground ethos of street racing at 3:00 in the morning...Now we're coming back with a strong narrative hook, and "I feel really good about the title." HELL, THATS WHAT HE SAID ABOUT PROSTREETS "I feel really good" if he really feel good about prostreets dang!! I'm really scare of "undercover" if the Excutive of EA can say that about prostreets... BOY!!!!.. WHAT HOPES DO WE HAVE IN UNDERCOVER BEING BETTER THAN PROSTREETS???? EA can't afford another failure. if undercover dont do it EA mise well scrap nfs franchise. and midnight club and burnout and GRID , GRAND TERISMO 5 BE THE RUNNER UP IN RACING.

hotrider12
hotrider12

YEAH, i have high stakes ps1,hotpursuit2 ps2,underground ps2,most wanted ps2, carbon ps2, prostreets ps2 out of the 6 I mainly play hotpursuit2,underground, high stakes ps1 the other 3 collect dust... have those 3 just for collecting the series but never play them. those 3 games remind me how NFS went down so horribly

afrosud12
afrosud12

I don't know what you are all going crazy on maggie q for. she's kinda flatfaced and bluh. now meagan fox as the NFS girl, that may actually convince me to buy a NFS game. I can't beleive how NFS has become so bad after underground 2. most wanted was sorta fun. it brought back the good old cop chases but it just wasn't as fun or lengthy as UG2 or hot pursuit 2 they really need to get their act together especially with games like Forza and PGR coming out on the 360 and grand tourismo on the PS3. it's kinda anoying. the last NFS game i bought was carbon and i literally puked in my mouth after about 10 minutes of playing. it just isn't fun anymore but seriously everyone Megan Fox OH MY GOD!!!!

Top_dawg35
Top_dawg35

I'm just hoping they resurrect the "outrun" and "drift" races and have a blacklist structure again. Most wanted should be the framework for this game. they can really take off from a strong base like that.

hotrider12
hotrider12

at lease mixture of underground will be in this game so i'll be buying it

V-Net
V-Net

Don't really give 2 about the under cover cops

hotrider12
hotrider12

just a thought has anyone notice if we suppose to be undercover working with the cops why are cops chasing us??? if anyone seen the pic. you'll understand my question.

imtheman4
imtheman4

"I was pretty disappointed with Need for Speed last year," commented Riccitiello. "I thought it was OK game in terms of gameplay, if not good. But, who wanted ProStreet?" i totally agree with that!!!!!! at least someone from EA tells the truth about last years NFS! i think this one according to the artical will be more like nfs underground and most wanted. i really hope so...

happy666
happy666

ahh thnk god pro street was rubbish!!!

happy666
happy666

ahh thnk god pro street was rubbish!!!

hotrider12
hotrider12

all I can say is: IM GLAD UNDERCOVER IS NOT DOING PROSTREET STYLE RACING I RATHER BE UNDERCOVER COP DOING UNDERGROUND STYLE THAN PROSTREET SMOKING GOING NOWHERE.

sonic0491
sonic0491

transporter was about driving things to locations other people couldnt like hostages and stuff! they lied its just an undercover cop doing underground racing! sc**w you ea im never buying another nfs again you got my excited for nothing!

sonic0491
sonic0491

THIS GAME IS GOING TO SUCK! ITS STAYING TO THE UNDERGROUND STYLE ITS GOT HARDLY ANYTHING LIKE TRANSPORTER AT ALL!! THEY LIED WHEN THEY SAID ITD BE LIKE TRANSPORTER, YOUR JUST GOING TO BE AN UNDERCOVER COP AND DO STUFF LIKE IN AAAAAAAAAALL THE OTHER GAMES! WHY DONT YOU GUYS STOP BEING TRY HARD!

hotrider12
hotrider12

UNDERCOVER if this new game don't live up to hotpursuit type racing I'm going with GRID and GRAND TERISMO 5 and dump NFS all together. grid have more to offer, grid has done what prostreets tried to do so far what I see. and I know GT5 will take racing to the next level. COME ON EA YOU CANT HALF STEP NO MORE!!!!!! ITS TIME TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE. NO MORE chicken scratch games but T-bone steak games now.

Bahaa3000
Bahaa3000

Oh man this game is really impressive and i really want to buy it , too bad its gonna be in november where there are like 20 amazing game coming !. It wont be easy to chose

hotrider12
hotrider12

just seen 9 pic. of undcover 3 pic. of burgandy porche with 2 cop cars chasing it. but the cop cars look like high stakes cop cars or hotpursuit 1 cop cars. the other 6 pic. is maggie Q i personally would like to see 9 pic. of cars and cops

hotrider12
hotrider12

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hotrider12
hotrider12

@ arikkot, carbon is ok an all but I dont like the canyon parts, the drifting is cool. I see EA going in a new direction instead of the original format like high stakes and hotpursuit and hotpursuit 2 and to proco07 most wanted is NOT!!! repeat is NOT!! the first nfs with cops in it the 3 above are the first 3 I know of.

hotrider12
hotrider12

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hotrider12
hotrider12

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

prico07
prico07

im a huge fan of the need for speed series and i think each game has its unique point thats better than the others ... underground 2 was the modding of the cars in such detail ... most wanted is my favourite with the introduction of police chases and carbon took the best of both but was too short ... pro street was a dissapointment ... it was a decent game to play but too real .. too gran turismo ... the next one should be a blend of illegal street racing and legal track racing and you should score points based on what type of racing you do and bring back free roam

arikkot
arikkot

@ frangulis why full day + night cycle? No, it should always be night like in carbon and in midnight club. If you can't beat midnight club, at least copy them. Like Family Guy did to The Simpsons, ans American Dad to Family Guy.

arikkot
arikkot

@ hotrider12 I think Carbon was the best Need for Speed. The wingman mechanics and territory conquering storyline were something new - a welcome departure from the "nobody-knows-me-so-i'm-going-to-win-a-bunch-of-races-to -become-famous" crap. It's beginning to get old. Plus, the canyon duels were the most fun i've had in a racing game in a long time. Beats most wanted and hot pursuit by a mile.

rsdnc777
rsdnc777

ProStreet had its highs and lows..I loved the game..and still play it, although the original aspect of the underground series was thrown out the window. Cops are fun to run from...As long as they dont get to outa control! a couple cruisers are fun, but when the heli's come out? Know one runs and gets away when helicopters are above you, the area's are just not big enuf. Car tuning is great in ProStreet, but even in underground 2, you can take it on a test track, and test it out. They need more car tuning options, ie.. more body kits, higher quality branded parts, that show when you use em'... Def should have ways to communicate with the other drivers on the road, like the head light flickering used in nfsu2. But really, as long as they fix some problems, and focus more on the roots, this game will be amazing! Oh, and p.s. : Developers, put it out for PS2. PS3 is just to expensive, when there's more important things in life to pay for..like rent!

hotrider12
hotrider12

road challenge would be great nfs. u know guys we could chat about what we want til the cows come home. will EA listen is the big question??

Untouchable_Dra
Untouchable_Dra

NFS need to make a mix of underground and hot pursuit 2 imo need for speed 4 - road challenge/high stakes was THE BEST need for speed

hotrider12
hotrider12

just played nfs carbon the game is ok but its not like hotpursuit2........ why do that games sucks?? so damn bad???