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The Need for Speed franchise is a multi-platorm series of racing games developed by Electronic Arts. Need for Speed was created by Canadian developer Distinctive Software before an EA buyout in 1991. The series is characterised by an arcade approach to the racing genre, often featuring police changes, street-style car customisation and humorous, over-the-top characters. Since Need for Speed's second iteration in 1997 the series has seen new releases every year, usually aimed at the holiday period, reflecting the game's broad popularity.
More recent Need for Speed games, like ProStreet, was criticised for its departure from the popular underground street racing themes of earlier incarnations. This prompted reassurances of a return to the series' roots for the 2008 release, Undercover. This was met with underwhelming reviews as the series tried to go back to a formula similar to Most Wanted.
A highly anticipated Need For Speed title by the Burnout developers Criterion Games was revealed as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit at EA's press conference at E3 2010. It was released on November 16th 2010.
During E3 2011, Need For Speed: The Run was announced. The game features on-foot segments, but they are not the major focus.