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.