Black Box's executive producer, Jason DeLong, has said that Frostbite 2 was chosen by the team for Need For Speed: The Run as a result of split-development cycles on the franchise, and because the engine allowed them to make the game that they wanted to make, particularly as the team was keen to evoke a 'cinematic kind of Hollywood story telling fashion'.
'When they decided to split the development across Criterion and Black Box to give each studio the time and development to create a quality experience,' said DeLong, speaking to Gamasutra, 'one of the things that we obviously had to do was to reinvest in our technology, because we hadn't been able to because of the yearly cycles in the past. So we looked at several options: do we advance the engine that we currently have? What other third party ones are out there?'
DeLong noted that Black Box's history with the franchise - they were behind Most Wanted and Underground - has tended to focus more on injecting a certain amount of story into proceedings, and that the team wanted to push this on The Run, utilising the advances in technology to provide a more cinematic experience, something which he says Frostbite 3 allowed them to do.
'It allowed us to get a character in the game, have incredible, believable characters in addition to amazing worlds and amazing looking cars,' continued DeLong. '[DICE's] visual effects work is second to none, the world destruction, their audio is incredible. And most importantly, one of the nice side benefits was that it's an incredibly content-driven tool, which allowed us to create more content than we've ever done before.'
DeLong also asserted that the engine produced for this game is highly modified, indeed it's development for this title was, as he puts it, 'a cross-studio development'.
'Yeah, so we collaborated with DICE on getting a very deep racing mechanic of handling physics into the game, [...] it was a lot of collaboration and work with them to get things like our road tool, which is our internal tool that allows us to build a track very quickly.
'[...] We have over 300 kilometers of track in the game, which is more than three times you've seen in any previous Need For Speed. Because we can just iterate so quickly on the content and get to quality very quickly and make those drives incredibly fun very quickly, it allowed us to just provide this epic race across the country, but in a believable way.'
Need for Speed: The Run races onto shelves on November 18th for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii and 3DS.