Free-to-play Need for Speed MMO hits open beta

By on March 16, 2010, 8:38 PM
After 14 installments over the last 15 years, the most ambitious and innovative version of Need for Speed is on the horizon. EA is working on a free-to-play massively multiplayer online racer, exclusive to the PC. Joystiq notes that an MMO version of the game could be the last Need for Speed title EA will have to make, offering a potential platform for "limitless updates."

Called Need for Speed World, the title has only just reached beta but already boasts over 150 miles of open road. Joystiq says the game follows the arcade-inspired mechanics of previous NFS entries, and should be widely accessible with hardware requirements including a 2.0GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 512MB graphics card.

While Need for Speed World is free to play, dedicated racers can use real money to buy in-game goods, such as improved vehicles and skills. This is only speculation based on Joystiq's article, but it sounds like much of that content is open to anyone willing to grind for it. Regardless, you can't go wrong with a free game, even if you don't spend 30 hours a week playing.

EA will supposedly introduce new areas, driving abilities and more to the game every few months, but it sounds like there's already plenty to see. The game will debut this summer but it's officially in open beta, and you can take it for a spin by applying here. Watch a gameplay video after the break.

User Comments: 58

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dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

i signed up a few hours ago

theoscentral said:

Just signed up. Adding blur = good game lol

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Like how the Beta takes place in Need for Speed Most Wanted. LOL

pipopaz said:

Wow I didn't know about such an ambitious work from EA. So far the game looks good and the whole MMO experience seems like it'll be a big part of it's looking tempting.

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

Nothing is ever free, haha. Either way, I'll be signing up!

T77 T77 said:

"Joystiq notes that an MMO version of the game could be the last Need for Speed title EA will have to make, offering a potential platform for "limitless updates."

Does this suggest that NFS World would be the last in the series?

well if it is,then please don't do this! i love NFS!

Aneesh said:

now a days online gaming is every where .....and i am so happy to know that my favourite NFS is also going to be online...... , I'll be signing up!

Thompson said:


This is now expected, what an odd place to take the NFS franchise which, of late, has been just used as a cash cow by releasing increasingly terrible iterations.

Interesting development but i'm not sure that I trust EA to make a good MMO.

JudaZ said:

Great! Signed up immediatly. Love NFS (not such a big fan of the "closed racing" versions though. Beeing chased by cops on open streets is much more fun )

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Huh...this is pretty interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I'm kinda scratching my head how a racing game could be wrapped up into an MMO. But what the heck, free is free!

seefizzle said:

I wonder if you can purchase horse armor in the game too. I hate micro transactions. Shoot, I hate paying real money to put new parts on my real car. I WILL NOT do that for a video game car, that's for sure.

InsaneVr6 said:

I always like NFS title's as long as it was open world. Their attempt at making the closed circuit games failed pretty bad in my opinion.

I watched the beta video for NFS World and it looks like it takes place in the Most Wanted game. Maybe EA will be combining all of the open world versions (Underground/Underground 2, Carbon, Most Wanted, Undercover, etc etc) into one.

The fact that it is free seems strange to me though. Why would they strive to continue to update the game if they make no profit.

It also says that it will be that last NFS installment. I don't think I would be upset about it, but I have to say I will miss the arcade street racing fun that NFS always had down better than any other game.

cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

Hmmm.... somehow I feel like this might become another failed MMO experiment. Sounds interesting though and if it's rewarding enough then I'll definitely give it a go.

rskapadia2294 said:

good technique to remain in market after last few flop games! MW was the best!

but i will also try out this one!

LGraves said:

Sweet! I was never a fan of NFS games. But this seems really cool. I love driving games but more so the ones that let you drive freely... Think i'll check this out.

LGraves said:

You know the one thing that worries me is the controls. I hope I will not have to buy a steering wheel.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

if i had the PC & also met all requirements would have certainly sign to the beta & even pre-order (LOL, a free game, ha!) ...

i will love to go for it when will be available to the public...

been a while since i watched a video about this on GT.


slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Being EA, I would expect that all the good items/upgrades would only be available to paying users. Would be very interesting to see how a racing game would work in an MMO environment though.

P.S. I still think NFS Underground 2 was the best game in the series.

rajmond said:

amazing game with good graphics

Guest said:

LMAO mmo copycats - "world"



what's next? Zelda: Twinkle world mmo ?

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Actually a very good idea from EA... Hook a crowd, and keep them interested with additions along the way. I know that continually rehashing and getting sales for racing game after racing game becomes a burden - not enough changes to make it a "must have" in most cases. Using this online model, they only have to advertise one platform, and can change it up enough to keep people coming back... Plus, they eliminate the piracy issues.

Good to see someone at EA is thinking outside the box a bit.

zyodei said:

What a killer app. They will make a load of money on this, and well deserved. This is just a killer idea, I hope it's a big success, and a model for more to follow.

Pretty much makes DRM obsolete, no? :P

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'll certainly play it if it's free. I imagine there's tons of money to be made with micro transactions and it's certainly been very profitable for some companies who have switched to a F2P model with micro-transactions. DDO said their revenue was up 500% after going free to play.

Neojt said:

I love most of NFS

im singnin up as soon as i get home since they need a hardware scan

Free is my favorite price

flocka said:

not a fan of the NFS series, but i like MMO's.

Pharazon said:

Sounds pretty interesting. i should probably give it a try.

Yoda8232 said:

Map is from Most Wanted lol.

Hopefully you can actually play the game for free and get a decent car without having to stuff in cash.

ourboyblue said:

a driving MMO, sweet, now I can drive like a jerk online.

buttus said:

I used to LOVE NFS many years ago (I think Hot Pursuit was the last one I played). However, once Gran Turismo came out of the PS I lost my affection for NFS. I do think with all the street racing games out there NFS has a very difficult time carving out it's own niche and unique take on this genre.

EduardsN said:

I imagine what its going to be like already... people driving 300kph all around you lol

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

Hmmm, this might be worth a try. I have a hard time seeing me playing it more than a few hours total. Just look at Battlefield Heroes. Not necessarily a bad game, but not a whole lot of replay value. I don't see this kind of sales model catching on.

Guest said:

They should use Google maps. How cool would it be to:

1. Drive to your house.

2. Race across the country, Cannonball-style, on what looks like real roads.

Docnoq said:

I wonder how instances/raids will be done..

All right men, Semi, you are the main tru--err, tank.

Porsche, I want you to stay behind the junkyard crane at all times for maximum dps.

I will be leaving my car to handle repairs.. just try not to lose any wheels.


Serag said:

Awesome!, can't wait..

I like how the game takes place in Most Wanted city

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

TomSEA said:

Huh...this is pretty interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I'm kinda scratching my head how a racing game could be wrapped up into an MMO. But what the heck, free is free!

Nice to see I'm not the only one. I am getting a little irritated that everyone is using the term MMO in such a liberal way. MMO means MASSIVE this is not going to be MASSIVE in terms of thousands racing all at once on one track on the same sever. If that's the case then every online game can be considered an MMO. It seems since WoW's success everyone wants to call there game an MMO. And that isn't even a great MMO example in which hundreds to thousands of players interacting in one area together consistently.

But my little MMO terminology rant aside =P, this does look interesting and I will give it a try but I won't call it an MMO Racer.

Geek4life said:

Hey its free I'll try it out maybe.

Guest said:

This is a watered down version of Mos Wanted. The handling is incredibly high, the cars traction is so fast. it seems the car starts at gear 3. Cops seem easy, recycled city... what else?

No, forgive me, its nt a watered down version, its MW on steroid (not necessarily a good thing).

But it's free and I will give it a try. They should just top trying so hard and make another NF Hot Pursuit game. Hot Pursuit2 is the best NFS game so far. Hopefully they will stop making shitty games like Shift.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good to see big companies using the standard way to play most online web-based games have aquired, play for free and if you want an edge pay a fee. Undoubtely this will bring new gamers and quite a few bucks into the gaming industry.

First seen on the new version of DDO, being the game free to play without having to put a single buck in order to enjoy it, but adding a lot more content with a couple of bucks or even a subscription.

Guest said:

Not the first NFS MMO, having beta tested and then (thanks to my poor judgement and eternal optimism) bought Need For Speed: Motor City Online.

That was quite a few years ago though and both computer and internet speeds have come a long way. Looking forward to giving it a go. Better dust off the G25!

z0k! said:

the racing style looks a blend of drag racing and burnout paradise style arcade.

looks good, i signed up

if i m not mistaken theres already a title in the racing MMO genre,' Torque'..not the most attractive game but its fun

ShiftedReality ShiftedReality said:

I signed up a few hours as well will see what it is like soon hopefully

burnunit burnunit said:

Excellent! I've loved Need For Speed from way back when... And it great that it is free, but looks like I'm going to have to shell out for a new vifeo card

rufio said:

signed up! i've always enjoyed playing nfs games

yorro said:

I am not a fan of MMO but I like this game alot.

ashwingeek said:

A free online service from EA? Interesting

NFS is one of the best games,but i have not played online. i may try it out.

Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

I like the game itself, but this actual F2P will be even better and can help further the user community. Need for Speed is one of the most popular games, and I think this will further it even more. Especially the F2P availability for it.

Is there a premium version, or at least one planned?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This looks great! Just signed up for it

matrix86 matrix86 said:

"While Need for Speed World is free to play, dedicated racers can use real money to buy in-game goods..."

HA! I knew it, lol. Nothing like this is ever free. When I saw the words "free to play" I immediately thought " to upgrade" just like in all these annoying myspace and facebook apps.

This is just like every other MMO where people waste money on fake stuff that does no good (can't you tell how much I hate these types of things? lol)

I will play this game as I enjoy the NFS games, but i'm not paying to upgrade a virtual car.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

considering there hasn't been a decent NFS title in at least 10 years, i think i'll pass...

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