Need for Speed

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Need For Speed
Need for speed drug.jpg
Developer(s) EA White Box, Criterion Games
Release date September 31, 1994
Genre Simulator
Platform(s) Xbox, Playstation, Gizmondo, Underwood Typewriters, Royal Typewriters
Rating E for Everyone

Need for Speed (NFS) is a series of massively multiplayer online role playing games, or MMORPGs, published by Electronic Arts (EA) and developed by several studios including the Canadian slave traders EA White Box and the British company Criterion Games.

The series released its first title, The Need for Speed in 1994. Initially, it was designed exclusively for use on typewriters, being the contemporary gaming system, but by Need For Speed: Pot Pursuit it had been reworked to be used on all major gaming systems, such as Xbox, Playstation, and Gizmondo. Need for Speed for Gizmondo was only available in the black market, because the makers of the gaming system, the Swedish Mafia, did not like EA butting in on their profits. All members of the series consist dealing and consuming mainly amphetamines, but including other drugs. The name, Need for Speed, is thought to be a play on the street name for amphetamines, speed. Since Need for Speed: Pot Pursuit, the series has integrated drug development into the game.

Need for Speed is the most successful MMORPG in the world and one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, second only to McDonalds. Over 140 million copies of games in the series have been sold to date.


All of the games in the NFS series employ the same fundamental rules and similar mechanics: the player controls a human in a variety of missions and in a free roam mode, the goal to be finishing the career mode. The premise of the game is to sell drugs and make money. Drugs are researched using XP. XP is earned from missions, or can be bought from the online store. Once you have researched a drug, you can sell the drug for money. The currency of the game is Slovakian Korunas. To get XP the player is sent on missions in and around Detroit, Michigan, chosen because it was chosen to be “The most violent, drug addled, gang controlled hellhole” by Washingtonian Magazine in 1993. The missions can include murder, rape, extortion, and crossdressing, though the latter was removed in the fifth version of the game due to its being “A thinly veiled insult to the magnificent city of Detroit”.

Juxtaposed to the favorable portrayal of Detroit is the Internal Revenue Service, a controversial feature of the NFS series. Players are allowed to play as corrupt tax collectors working in secret not for the Internal Revenue Service, but for Kwame Kilpatrick and Ronald McDonald, the city’s mayor and owner, respectively. The tax collectors are able to use lethal force against any prisoner of Detroit that does not hand over the requested amount of money, drugs, slaves, or Tetrids. Tax collectors keep a commision of 50% on all confiscated goods, the rest going to their employers. EA so far has not been publicly reprimanded for this by the U.S. Government, but has rumored to have been challenged as to their status as a 401(c) nonprofit.


There have been 20 installments in the Need for Speed series.

The Need For Speed (1994)

As explained above.

Need For Speed 2 (1997)

Released two years after the first game, it was generally considered to be a graphical improvement of the first, with no real changes in gameplay, besides a slightly different city and new characters. It was released for Playstation only.

Need For Speed 3: Pot Pursuit (1998)

This added two modes to Need for Speed 2, the "Fuzz" and "Addict" modes. In the Fuzz mode you played as a corrupt police officer trying to extort drugs and money out of drug addicts. In the Addict mode, you played as a drug addict against the Fuzz.

Need For Speed: High Stakes (1999)

This was the most popular game in the Need For Speed series in 1994, with over 156,000 registered users, 3,341 of which had bipolar disorder, causing them to register twice. This led to a dispute over the true number of Need For Speed users. EA claimed the larger number, but IGN said that "Based on our sources, the real number is 3,341 less than the EA claimed."

Need For Speed: GHB Unleashed (2000)

This game was a further development of Need For Speed: High Stakes, with better graphics and a wider area. However, due to a sponsorship by the Zetas, a nonprofit drug cartel dedicated to the production and distribution of GHB, the only available drug in the game was GHB. It was described as "Too restrictive."

Need For Speed: Pot Pursuit 2 (2002)

The widely anticipated sequel to the first Pot Pursuit, was viewed as a disappointment by most gamers because it was discovered to be "Need For Speed: Pot Pursuit" in a new package. Despite this, it won Game of the Year in 2002.

Need For Speed: Six Feet Underground (2003)

This was the first Need For Speed game to include a new concept at the time, death. Upon depleting the health bar, players would die, instead of being transported to the ER. Due to the inclusion of death, it was rated Mature 10+. This somewhat narrowed the audience, and was viewed as a bad move.

Need For Speed: Six Feet Underground Too (2004)

As same as above, but instead of going to heaven like the last game, the player will go to hell instead. That's why it got a "Adult Only 12+" rating.


The murder rate in a number of US cities shot up to a level never before seen after EA did away with the free beta. Armed robberies doubled in less than two months. The response made Need for Speed responsible for the second worst outbreak of video game related violence, after World of Warcraft. On April 31, one of EA's major spokesmen, Oscar Wilde, issued an apology to the citizens of the U.S., stating in part that "Electronic Arts feels that as a whole, the Need for Speed series has educated hundreds of thousands of people on the evils of the Canadian people... however, there have been unintended consequences , such as the increase in armed robberies in many cities around the globe. We would like to apologize for this, but we would also like to say that there has been a net benefit to the world after the release of Need for Speed. Again, on behalf of Electronic Arts and all their staff, I would like to--" At this point, an annoyed marmot was launched at Mr. Wilde by a disgruntled audience member, cutting the press conference short.

The game is also criticized for its depiction of Canadians as weak and easily abused. The only Canadians in the game who are depicted in a strong light are the Quebecois, who are mostly used as slaves and indentured servants to the leaders of the criminal underworld in the game.

The 2014 version of Need For Speed featured many celebrities, available as DLC playable characters, including Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Rosie O'Donnell, Dick Cheney, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, and Justin Timberlake. This was one of the most widely appreciated features of the game, as one review from GameSpot stated: "The addition of playable celebrities into the game has greatly improved it from the marginal Need for Speed: Most Wasted of 2013. There is nothing that gives me a better feeling than getting Paris Hilton totally blasted and having her jump off a bridge. It is a lifelong obsession that I have finally been able to fulfill. 9.5/10."

However, many of the celebrities were outraged at their inclusion in the game, in particularly Dick Cheney and Lindsay Lohan. Their main concerns were the depiction of them as mild drug abusers, which they described as "Way, way, way, way, understated," and the ability of characters to take all their clothes off. This earned the description of "Shockingly accurate."

Film adaptation[edit]

After the massive success of Need for Speed: Six Feet Underground, EA worked with Warn Her Bros. Entertainment to create a film version of Need for Speed. Production delays and the deaths of several actors caused the movie to be pushed back 11 years. Walter White, who played Bryan Cranston on the mildly successful TV show Breaking Bad, was cast in the starring role as Albus Dumbledore, a mechanic, street racer, and horse excerciser who was framed by a wealthy business associate.