Microsoft wanted to launch Kinect with a new Burnout game.
When Kinect was first revealed, it was a device that held a lot of promise, and, even more so than the Wii, promised to change the way we played games forever. While that never happened, and Kinect turned out to be inadequate as a method of control for more complicated games, in the beginning, a lot of major titles were either planned for it or were being pushed for it. One of these was a new Kinect exclusive Burnout game that Microsoft approached Criterion to develop.
Speaking on his Twitter, Alexander J Ward, the Creative Director at Criterion. speaks of the first time he saw the Kinect and how Microsoft approached him to develop a game for the peripheral. “[Microsoft] asked us to do a special Burnout as the pack-in game a la Wii Sports. We declined as we had just begun [Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit].”
The Kinect Burnout project was publicly demoed, with heavily simplified controls that resembled those of an iOS racer, with the player not getting any control over either acceleration or braking. It is hard to know how well (or not) the Kinect exclusive Burnout game would have turned out; on the other hand, one can hardly fault Criterion for going with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit instead, the game that finally managed to revive EA’s flagship racer brand after years of missteps.