Putting the brakes on its annual release schedule was the best way to stop Need For Speed stagnating again.
That's according to Project CARS creative director Andy Tudor, whose team at Slightly Mad Studios created Need For Speed: Shift as part of EA's attempts to reinvigorate the longrunning brand in 2009.
Tudor supported EA's decision to target a 2015 release for the next instalment in its flagship racing series. This will be the first year without a NFS title since 1996.
That's probably for a good reason,” Tudor told MCV @ Gamescom. The last one was pretty good, but if you kept bringing one out every year, you would end up burning the team out.
The key is to keep innovating. You can't just bring another Need For Speed every single year. You need something brand new.” He went on to claim it is ‘financial suicide' to develop games without getting consumers involved, whether that's through Steam Early Access or other forms of alpha and beta testing.
Slightly Mad's own upcoming racer, Project CARS, was funded by what the studio calls the ‘World of Mass Development' platform – its own crowd-funding solution that also sees backers and testers influence the game's development.
You've got to have the gamers behind you,” Tudor said. They've certainly given us a level of confidence that what we're making is something that people actually want to play. It would be financial suicide to bring out a game that we think is good, but actually people think it isn't good enough.”