'Need For Speed' Players Get '15 Mustang First

by , Dec 13, 2013, 5:04 PM
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Ford debuted its first global Mustang last week. The car was unveiled in a worldwide event that put its star executives in major cities around the world to reveal the car more or less at the same time. Those were real cars under the wraps (even though in New York they decided to eschew the dramatic effect of pulling an actual wrap off of the car), but it's a virtual Mustang that will hit the road first, way before the real one shows up at dealers' showrooms next year. The 2015 Mustang is in Electronic Arts' "Need for Speed Rivals" for PlayStation 3, and Xbox One. 

In addition to the thousands of Mustang appearances in TV and film, the car has been in the game for the past eight years.  “We worked closely with the development team at EA to provide them with engineering data for the new Mustang, several months before we showed it to the rest of the world,” said Mark Bentley, Ford product licensing manager in a statement. “Computer design models enabled the game developers to create an accurate representation of the new Mustang before it goes on sale.”

Ford says the Mustang car has been involved in digital games since the ‘90s. Patrick Mulligan, Ford global brand licensing associate director, explains in a video that Mustang gets integrated through a process by which EA designers get graphic exterior-surface representations of the vehicle, not the engineering data. Kevin Maher, EA VP marketing, says Mustang is consistently among the top vehicles people choose to “drive.”   

Also in the game is the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang as a police chase vehicle. Players can choose five designs, four from the designs that received the most votes in a digital campaign the company did last summer where people could customize the car online via a Mustang Customizer for desktop, mobile and tablet apps. They can also choose a version of the pony car that was dreamed up by drift-racer Vaughn Gittin Jr.

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 30 is the average age of people who play electronic games. Gamers have been playing for an average of 13 years per the association, which also reports that 68% of gamers are 18 years of age or older. Forty-five precent are female and 36% of players use their smartphones to get behind the wheel. The Action genre, accounting for 22.3% of games sold, was the most popular type of game last year, per the association.

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