TE: Your publisher EA must be pleased that after 12 months of freebies, some money will be coming in. Have they been supportive of the Year of Paradise strategy?
PL: They've been absolutely supportive. We're at one with EA - we occupy a whole floor of their U.K. headquarters in Guildford. We couldn't do the things we do without EA's help, the power and experience that they have in publishing, marketing and developing. It's fantastic to have that on our side.
TE: You've put a lot of faith and energy into downloadable content - you can now buy Burnout Paradise as a PSN download - but you're also putting out a new boxed, updated version in February. Is that physical presence still important?
PL: When we released the PSN version, it was an important step for us. It's a whole product available to download that you can just have on your hard drive whenever you want to play it - it's a fantastic way to get directly to consumers. But not everyone has online, so we know that some of our audience won't have experienced the new content. There are a lot of people who have been hearing the buzz about Burnout Paradise over the past year and they'll be able to buy this new product and straight away get all of the existing content and the new offline multiplayer Party Pack on the disc and then get ready for all the new stuff we've got planned this year. And PC owners will get to experience it for the first time, too.
TE: After reinventing Burnout once, will you have to do it all over again for Burnout Paradise 2, or will the franchise continue to evolve through DLC? Basically, is there a plan?
PL: My plan is to keep shipping everything for Burnout Paradise. We've got an awful lot of things lined up that are going to keep changing the game in interesting ways. There's no need to reinvent anything just yet.
TE: On a more personal note, what do you drive, both in-game and in real life?
PL: I'm a little ahead of everyone else, I suppose. I'm currently driving the new Dust Storm but I'm a big P12 fan, since I do a lot of stunt runs. In real life, I'm driving an Audi TT, which is a bit of fun.
TE: One final question - where are my goddamn Burnout planes!?
PL: You saw the planes, then. [Pause] I can't really comment! But we're doing lots of incredible things, and what I love is that we can show people some of the stuff we're trying out and they can get excited about it.
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box is scheduled to be released for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in February.
Graeme Virtue is a freelance writer based in Scotland. He recently managed to get Aquaman to open up about being excluded from Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.