EA has announced a July 20 date for the official launch of Need For Speed World, its racing MMO developed by EA Black Box. The game has been in closed beta for quite some time, with Joystiq getting a look at it back in March.

NFSW will be released as a free game client which will let players advance their driver up to level 10 before being asked to purchase a "starter pack." The game can continue to be played without it, but players won't be able to level up to earn new vehicles and power-ups.

EA is accepting pre-orders for a $19.99 starter pack, which allows for progression up to level 50 and includes an exclusive car, beta access, the ability to play NFSW a week before release and a selection of power-ups. Unfortunately, our suggestion for a "back-seat driver" power-up -- which would play the game for you to grind levels -- doesn't appear to have made the cut.