PC-exclusive Need for Speed MMO will be free to play

— 2:42 PM on March 16, 2010

The very first Need for Speed got me hooked on driving games. In the 15 years since its release, the franchise has spawned 13 additional titles. Some of those have been great, while others have been quite poorly received.

So, what's next for the franchise? According to Joystiq, an open-world MMO dubbed Need for Speed World. The online racer will be exclusive to the PC and apparently free to play. It's unclear whether in-game advertising will be responsible for supporting the title, although it looks like gamers will be able to purchase cars and "improved skills" with real dollars.

Although not included in the current beta, which already features over 150 miles of drivable roads, police chases will apparently make their way into the game at some point. New content is expected to be integrated into the game every few months, giving players new roads to drive and possibly fresh vehicles, as well.

Need for Speed World is slated to arrive this summer, but if you can't wait to give the game a shot, EA is accepting entries for the game's open beta. All that's required is a PC with at least a 2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a graphics card with 512MB of memory.

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