EA hits the open road with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Demo

Criterion Games, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced a demo for Need for SpeedTM Hot Pursuit. This demo will give gamers early access to this holiday’s hottest action racing title. Starting October 26 for a limited time*, players can experience the intensity of friendly competition, using Need for Speed’s revolutionary social network, Autolog. This new in-game technology makes personalized recommendations to gamers based on what their friends have been playing. Autolog is a brilliantly simple feature that challenges each player to set the best race time amongst their friends. Play alone and reign supreme against the game’s AI or invite just one friend to join, and unlock a second track in the demo. Playing with friends or frenemies, players kick off an addictive competitive loop where the compulsion to be the best and earn bragging rights is irresistible.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit ships on November 19th, 2010 and is already earning accolades from critics worldwide for pioneering a new innovation within the racing category. “Need for Speed Hot Pursuit could redefine online racing forever,” stated GamesRadar in their summer preview of the game. In Europe, Eurogamer noted that, “Friends, data and photos continuously stream into view, all offering new gameplay opportunities and challenges.”

“Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is blowing the roof off social competition and bringing excitement back to the racing genre,” says Matt Webster, Producer at Criterion Games. “We’re putting players and their friends at the heart of the gameplay experience by automatically tracking and comparing each person’s performances. This demo will give gamers a snapshot of Need for Speed Autolog and how we’re amping up the energy of intense pursuits, competitive racing and online connected play – nothing is more powerful than beating your friends.”

In the Need for Speed Hot Pursuit demo, players will be able to chase as a cop in the Dark Horse Hot Pursuit event, speeding through the coastal highway and mountainous ridges of Seacrest County. At the heart of the demo is a social network called Autolog that tracks cop and racer performances while playing solo and uses those statistics to generate fierce competition between friends. Once players add a friend to their Need for Speed friends list, the second event will unlock called Roadster’s Reborn, where gamers can compete as racers to set the best times. When they download and play the demo they will also earn 500 bounty award points in the full game for both Cop and Racer careers**. Accruing bounty will allow players to unlock events and exotic cars and progress through their careers in the full game.

The Need for Speed Hot Pursuit demo will be available for download October 26 on Xbox LIVETMMarketplace worldwide and the PlayStation®Network in the UK on October 27 on the PlayStation Network. The retail game will be available on November 19th in the UK on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC. The Limited Edition can be pre-ordered now on all platforms to gain exclusive content at no extra cost, with participating retailers worldwide (while supplies last). Need for Speed Hot Pursuit will also be available on the WiiTMand is being developed by Exient.

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