Electronic Arts (EA) announced that it is releasing three new games for the Need for Speed franchise - Need for Speed: Shift, Need for Speed: Nitro, and Need for Speed: World Online, all to be released this year 2009.
Need for Speed World Online or NFS:WO is being developed by EA Black Box and EA Singapore and will be using the Virtual Asset Sales (VAS) business model. Players will be able to play free-of-charge and those who wishes to tune-up their racing cars can buy virtual assets.
NFS:WO will feature more licensed cars, parts, and game modes as compared to EA’s first attempt Motor City Online (which went Offline). Keith Munro, EA’s VP for Marketing, said…
Need for Speed World Online is more about exploration into the free-to-play model that is growing at a fast pace, rather than a straight-up MMO persistent world such as Motor City Online.
It could mean that NFS:WO will follow what most VAS type online games have - non-persistent; rooms-based system. Need for Speed: World Online will be first released here in Asia. After a successful release (and testing), the game will be available to the rest of the world.
Why here? There is only one reason I can see here - the VAS Business Model was born here in Asia, South Korea to be exact, and it was embraced by countless of online gaming companies in the region - from China to ASEAN to India.
- Need for Speed: World Online will be available for the PC only.
- Need for Speed: Nitro will be released on Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.
- Need for Speed: Shift will be playable on Sony PlayStation 3, Micrsofot Xbox 360, PC, and Sony PlayStation Portable.