When you think of Need for Speed you don’t instantly think of sports. The franchise is more focused on arcade racing than franchises like Gran Turismo or Froza Motorsport. However, that isn’t how EA sees it.
EA Sports boss Patrick Soderlund confirmed to Polygon that Need for Speed and EA’s other racing franchises will be under the supervision of EA Sports General Manager Matt Bilbey. He attributes this change as part of a wider plan for more unification of the company’s products.
“Matt will run FIFA, he runs UFC, but he also runs NHL (or has people that report up to him),” said Soderlund. “We’re also putting Need for Speed and our driving business under Matt. We think that could benefit from fresh eyes, could benefit from some different thinking, and we think that Matt is the right guy to do that.
“I think that we can learn a lot from the sports games and what they’ve done.”
He believes that EA Sport’s laser focus on gameplay will be a great benefit for racing games going forward.
The latest title in the franchise, Need for Speed: Rivals, is set to launch November 15 in North America and November 29 in Europe for PS4. The PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Xbox One versions will launch the following week.