You are possibly right... PGR4 may be "taking over" from where NFSPU and NFSHP left off. Another software company spotten the value, and that the existing publisher was leaving the genre for NOX, neon and bling.
Where the money is? Carbon was a flop for EA. This new NFS still tries to be a Fast and Furious. But I think you'll agree, 5 years on from FnF we've all moved on.
All I can say is THANK GOODNESS there isnt a character called "Diesel" in the game. eek