When you think of the Need for Speed series, you'd expect inspiration from previous games in the series or similar racing titles like Forza. However, Marcus Nilsson, executive producer on Need for Speed: Rivals has cited a couple of unlikely sources in the form of the Battlefield series and even Far Cry 3.
In an interview with El33tOnline.com, Nilsson mentions how Ghost Games first looked to the previous holders of the license in Criterion Games, and specifically their Creative Director Craig Sullivan: "You'd be foolish if you didn't work with Criterion if you started something like this up. It's a sister studio with [the EA] label, and Craig is an old friend of mine even before this. I sat down with him and said, 'Hey, I'm opening up a new studio, you should be the creative director on that.'"
"The complexity of setting up a new team is not only 'I need a producer, I need an engine programmer,' it's in getting people who can work eight hours a day at least - or now actually more - and taking something good to something great. Good simply isn't good enough."
It was this reasoning that was behind the decision to bring in developers from other games "I've got Jamie Keen who was the lead designer on Far Cry 3, which has an amazing open world and is filled with things to do all the time, so we were lucky enough that he was in a position where he wanted to come back to Sweden and to Gothenburg."
Of course, Need for Speed Rivals is powered by the Frostbyte 3 engine, previously seen in Battlefield 3 - though Nilsson comments that there are other parallels to the shooter: "The Need For Speed Network that we're making for this game, and Overwatch, totally is related to Battlelog. There's no hiding from it, Need For Speed has never really had a website that was made for the people who bought the game, and I think that makes a big, big difference."
"I want Need For Speed to be something that people live and breathe, I want them to play the game for a long time with a community that's active and have them enjoy it for a long time."
Need for Speed Rivals hits Xbox 360 on November 22nd with a next-gen version to follow soon afterwards - will you be in pole position of the queue for the game when it lands?