Speaking to TSA about NfS: Rivals, following our hands on time with the game, Creative Director Craig Sullivan answered our question as to why Rivals would not be seeing a release on Wii U or PlayStation Vita, when Most Wanted had reached both.
The background to this game’s development is quite complicated, with many factors in play. Ghost Games is a new studio in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Need for Speed: Rivals is their first title, working in partnership with Ghost UK, a team formed largely of staff from Criterion Games. However, in addition to being a new team and the transitionary period that brings, Rivals is also a game coming to machines on both current and next generations of hardware, and is using the Frostbite 3 engine to do so.
The Frostbite 3 engine has quite notably not been ported to either Wii U or PS Vita at this time, in contrast to the Chameleon engine being ported to both for the releases of Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and resulted in what was an improved game on many counts for Wii U players. Battlefield 4, another Frostbite 3 game, is also not going to be making its way to the Wii U.
When asked about this, Craig explained that:
Honestly, it’s not the kind of stuff that I like talking about in detail, that much. We did a load of extra work on the Wii U version, and we had a lot of guys working on that stuff, you know?
It didn’t really sell that many, in terms of the Wii U market. I would love for it to have, because we put so much effort into that, trust me. I’d love for it to be way bigger than it was, and the same for the Vita.[Rivals] is going onto new hardware, and you have to work out where you focus your efforts. The 200 people working on this game are only capable of making so much, and doing so many different versions of the game, so we had to go with where we think the biggest audience will be for the game, and that’s where we are.
Not for lack of effort put in by the developers previously, it seems that any Wii U and PS Vita versions of Rivals has hung on their install base, on Most Wanted’s sales record, and also the demands of bringing the game to new platforms.
Check back later to see Craig’s explanation of the events which saw the transformations Criterion Games underwent as Ghost UK was created, and the future of the Need for Speed franchise.