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New Free Racing MMO World of Speed Announced

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Slightly Mad Studios, developers of the Need for Speed: Shift series and the upcoming Project CARS, announced this week that it will be releasing an ambitious free-to-play MMO, World of Speed.

The PC game will feature a wide range of tracks, cars, and, yes, paid upgrades and microtransactions. If you’re groaning right now, Slightly Mad’s Creative Director Andy Tudor understands. He told Gamespot’s Mark Walton that the game will avoid the pitfalls that make free-to-play a dirty word.

“We’re not going to put any content behind a paywall, because that’s completely obvious, and we saw that with other racing games on mobile that got a bit more flack,” Tudor told Walton. “And we certainly don’t want you to go into a game where you feel like you’re at a disadvantage because somebody else has paid, because that is pay to win. Both things are obvious: do it fair, and don’t ever let the player feel like they’re being cheated because someone has paid; it’s not rocket science. You can go all the way through the entire game to the highest level without spending a penny at all.”

At this point, as a guy who plays a lot of games on mobile and has been frustrated with free-to-play more than once, I could say “that’s what they all say,” but I’m willing to give Walton the benefit of the doubt, especially when otherwise the game looks very promising. It’ll be interesting to see how World of Speed will stack up against other upcoming entries in the racing MMO stakes like Ubisoft’s The Crew.

World of Speed will hold a beta this spring. To sign up, or to find out more about the game, visit the official site.

And yes, before those that have been drooling for Project CARS get upset, Tudor says that game is still coming, too, with a planned November release date.

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