This is big, this is really big – EA has signed a multi-year partnership with the legend, Ken Block.
Block will serve as Racing Advisor for the Need for Speed franchise, in a deal that EA hopes will “push the action and adrenaline of racing to new limits to help keep Need for Speed atop the videogame racing world for years to come.”
The Need for Speed franchise is also sponsoring Block and his Ford Fiesta ST 2013 racing car and will be working with him on the release of Gymkhana SIX, the next installment of the award-winning, record-breaking viral video franchise, via the Need for Speed website and YouTube channel.
If you’ve never seen Block on YouTube, amazingly throwing a rally car around a Gymkhana like no other, then EA give us a little more insight in the announcing press release:
ESPN has recognized Block as one of the most influential action sports athletes in the world. When his rally racing career began in 2005 he quickly earned Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship and has gone on to nineteen overall wins and five X-Games medals. In addition to his performance in competition, Block has reached global fame for his skill and car control and pushed the sport of rally cross the line into the mainstream through his wildly successful Gymkhana video series. To date, the first five videos have garnered more than 250 million views. The next video in this series, Gymkhana SIX, will be released in its entirety November 11 and will once again raise the bar for what can be done behind-the-wheel of a car.
“Partnering with EA and Need for Speed is a natural fit for our team. I feel like we both have the same goal in mind – to let people live out a fantasy of really pushing the limits of what you can do in the driver’s seat,” said Ken Block.
“It’s that special mix of fast-pace, raw speed and over-the-top fun, which has made the Gymkhana series a success, and something the Need for Speed games capture really well. We’re both excited to show you how we’re taking things to a new level in Gymkhana SIX in just a few weeks.”
Marcus Nilsson, Executive Producer of Need for Speed Rivals added, “I couldn’t think of a more exciting and more appropriate partner to have for Need for Speed. Ken’s a true master of drifting, handling, and really turning the streets into a playground for cars. We were already huge fans of his at Ghost, and we know he will be a great asset in helping us provide gamers the most adrenaline-filled and fun racing experience in the industry as we move forward.”
Block is not new to videogames, he was previously exclusively featured in the Codemasters DiRT series.