As most of you will no doubt already know, we are only a week or so away from the release of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit with Criterion taking over the role of developer to bring us an entirely new slant on the Need For Speed franchise, including their built in take on social networking – the Autolog. When you’re designing a new driving experience, who better to be at the helm than a developer with a vested interest in real world racing. We were lucky enough to talk to Senior Vice President of EA Games Europe, Patrick Söderlund, who has himself been racing cars for over six years now after he was given a race driver licensing course as a gift by his wife. One converted BMW Z3 later, Patrick was hooked and has been racing ever since… but today we’re here to talk about virtual racing… Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit!
How did the whole thing of Criterion first being passed the need for speed torch come around? Were they sitting around after finishing Burnout Paradise and decided they wanted to work on it or were they asked?
I’ll be honest with you, they were working on something else at the time and we started looking at how to resurrect and bring the quality back to Need for Speed. We had Shift in development so we had a game for last year but when we looked at what we had for this year we couldn’t see the signs that we wanted to see from that so we ended up killing what we had in development and talking to Criterion.