Aeria Games has signed a deal with Electronic Arts to publish the latter's Need for Speed World for a global market, the Santa Clara, CA publisher announced today. The racing MMO, developed by NFS: The Run's Black Box, boasts vehicle customization, RPG-style progression and 150 miles of open-world terrain. Originally launched in 2010, the game's addition to the Aeria library marks the publisher's first title in the racing genre.
Need for Speed World is the second EA title to be made available on the Aeria network, following Battlefield Heroes' addition earlier this year. It's available in English, French, Polish, Spanish and Portuguese, with exclusive third-party publishing rights in Latin American territories. Having gone free-to-play in September of last year, the game's supported by in-game currency with a real-world value, which is necessary to purchase many of the higher-spec vehicles.
As we noted when the EA/Aeria deal was first announced, it may seem strange for EA to distribute its Play4Free titles outside the company's own, heavily-pushed Origin platform. However, the 6-month-old platform is still in its infancy, and already negotiating legal issues in some territories – whereas Aeria's global network includes subsidiaries in Germany and Brazil, as well as a Japanese parent company. Regardless of the partnership's impact on Origin, then, it can be seen as a pragmatic move on EA's part to increase distribution of its free-play library.