EA wants to establish Shift as a new franchise when Shift 2 Unleashed races to UK shelves in March.
The original was part of the Need for Speed family but the sequel will branch out in order to win over simulation racer fans and compete with genre rival Gran Turismo.
“Shift is still part of the Need for Speed family but it offers a very different experience from our traditional Need for Speed action racers,” EA’s racing and action business lead Colin Blackwood told MCV.
“With Shift 2 Unleashed, we aim to redefine sim racing so that fans get as close to the feeling of real racing as possible. Sim racers are proving very popular with consumers – F1 and GT5 have done great numbers.
“The game will still embody the core values of Need for Speed but we want to establish Shift as our clearly defined simulation racer.”
The first Shift was one of three titles designed to reinvigorate the Need for Speed franchise, alongside arcade-style Wii and DS title NFS Nitro and last year’s MMO NFS World.
Shift met with critical and commercial success back in 2009 and Blackwood is confident its sequel can build on this further.
“Our Need for Speed strategy is to create the best racing and driving experiences for all racing fans,” he said.
“With the original Shift we struck a chord with sim racers owing to the high quality and raw, edgy feel of real racing.
“The game performed very well at retail. The use of Shift as a franchise name is reflective of our desire to establish it as the best simulation racer in the market with its own unique, distinct positioning.”
Shift 2 Unleashed will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on Friday, March 25th.