Speaking at the William Blair & Company's 28th Annual Growth Stock Conference, EA CEO John Riccitiello revealed EA has switched its Need for Speed franchise from a single team on a 12-month development cycle to two teams, each with a 24-month development cycle. This marked the end of an eight-year run on a 12-month development cycle. According to Riccitiello this should ensure we don't see another title as disappointing as ProStreet.
"Last summer we added head count and split the team in two, so now there are two teams on a 24 month cycle. And this is sort of their first 16 and-a-half month game...Because we didn't do it far enough ago to give us a full two year dev cycle," explained Riccitiello.
He continued: "We were torturing a very talented group of people up in Vancouver, which makes it harder to be as innovative every year. So, I think we are going to get better from here."
The new game, Need for Speed: Undercover, sounds like another major reinvention for the series, promising a narrative driven mission structure Riccitiello compared to cult action movie The Transporter.
"I'm confident that Undercover is a much better game than Pro Street, and I expect that from this point forward they will do a lot better," Riccitiello concluded.
Expect to hear much more on Need for Speed: Undercover over the coming months.