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The series released its first title, The Need for Speed in 1994. The title comes from a famous quote from the 1986 film Top Gun. All installments of the series consist of racing cars on various tracks, with several titles including police pursuits in races. Since Need for Speed: High Stakes, the series has also integrated car body customization into gameplay.
Need for Speed is the most successful racing video game series in the world, and one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Over 150 million copies of games in the series have been sold to date.
In June 2012, following Black Box's restructuring, British developer Criterion Games announced that it was in full control of theNeed for Speed franchise. However, in August 2013, Swedish and British developers Ghost Games, Ghost Games UK and Criterion Games joined forces for the foreseeable future of the Need for Speed series. At the time, Ghost Games UK staff consisted of 80% of former Criterion Games employees.