Forza Motorsport is the next entry in Microsoft's long-running racing game franchise, which is developed by Turn 10 Studios. The last entry, Forza Motorsport 7, released in 2017 alongside the Xbox One X, and was seen as a showcase for the system and it looks like Forza Motorsport will do the same kind of showcasing for the Xbox Series X.
After Forza Motorsport 7's release, Turn 10 abandoned its typical two-year development cycle, and instead opted to overhaul the ForzaTech engine with improvements that would allow the team to deliver a next-generation racing game.
Now, the next Forza Motorsport has been revealed and there's a few things we can already confirm, though there are still plenty of questions that need answered, including when we'll be able to play it. Here's everything we know about the next Forza Motorsport so far.
[Update: Forza Motorsport 7 is being withdrawn from sale in September but it's not because the next game's release is right around the corner. Read on to find out more.]
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Forza Motorsport – everything we know so far
At the July 2020 Xbox Games Showcase, the game was officially unveiled alongside a quick trailer, which you can take a look at above.
Like the prior Forza Motorsport games, the racing sim is being developed by Turn 10 Studios, one of the many teams that falls under the Xbox Game Studios umbrella.
Surprisingly, the game isn't called Forza Motorsport 8. Forza Motorsport’s creative director Chris Esaki admitted that there’s some confusion regarding the game’s name, and clarified that the eight has been dropped altogether.
“I just wanted to reaffirm that the name of the game is Forza Motorsport," said Esaki. "There’s no sequential eight after the title. It really is an all-new Forza Motorsport experience.”
As it stands, it appears that Forza Motorsport isn't coming to Xbox One consoles. Instead, it's being developed as an exclusive for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC, which should excite fans who are hoping for a truly next-gen leap for the series.
Forza Motorsport playtests
Turn 10 revealed that the Forza Feedback Panel will be how players can get their hands on the next Forza Motosport, so the game can be shaped by the community.
Signing up is simple: you need to be at least 18-years-old and agree to a confidentiality statement, which you can opt out of at any time if you decide to leave the program.
The first playtest took place on May 8, and resulted in a “ton of great feedback” from the community, according to Esaki. Esaki said that after the playtest, the team was pretty sure that everyone is “super hyped and energized” by what was shown. He also explained that the reason why only small parts of the game are being tested is so that the team can get “critical feedback” on “focused areas”.
But if you happened to miss out on the first playtest, fear not. Speaking on the Forza Monthly show for May, Forza Motorsport’s creative director Chris Esaki shared that another playtest will take place this summer (between June and September).
Forza Motorsport release date
Unfortunately, a Forza Motorsport release date hasn't been shared. Whenever it arrives, it'll be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. Factoring in how the pandemic has slowed down game development for many teams and the fact that Forza Horizon 5 is now slotted in for a November 2021 release date, it might be reasonable to expect Forza Motorsport to arrive in sometime 2022 or later.
Forza Motorsport news
Forza Motorsport 7 being pulled from sale
Forza Motorsport 7 will be pulled from sale in September, meaning the game and its DLC will no longer be available for purchase. For those hoping this is a sign that the next game’s release is right around the corner, unfortunately that’s not the case.
On Twitter, the official Forza Motorsport account confirmed that the game is being pulled as its third-party licenses (which allow the game to feature real-world cars, tracks and other elements) are set to expire. It’s not too surprising that Microsoft isn’t opting to renew these licenses, though, given Forza Motorsport is coming at some point even if we don’t know exactly when.
Cloud gaming could be key for Xbox One
Forza Motorsport looks set to come to Xbox Series X/S and PC, skipping the Xbox One generation. However, Xbox One owners might not miss out entirely.
In a post to the Xbox Wire blog, Microsoft says that it will be using its cloud streaming technology to serve up games that require the Xbox Series X/S’s power in order to deliver them to the last-gen Xbox One.
“You'll see many games this holiday, including Forza Horizon 5, which will boast DirectX ray-tracing on both Xbox Series X and S, and Battlefield 2042, which will run at 60fps while supporting 128 players on Xbox Series X/S.
“Some games launching next year from our first party studios and partners, such as Starfield, Redfall, and Stalker 2 require the speed, performance, and technology of Xbox Series X/S.
“We're excited to see developers realise their visions in ways that only next-gen hardware will allow them to do. For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers.”
Though Forza Motorsport isn't mentioned explicitly in the blog post, it's possible that it could fall under this umbrella of first-party games.
A 'huge generational leap' over previous games
Chris Esaki, the game's creative director, shared details on how Forza Motorsport’s physics have evolved from Forza Motorsport 7. “To put the physics work into perspective… the changes we made from Forza Motorsport 7 till now, is more than the changes we made from [Forza Motorsport] 4 through [Forza Motorsport] 7. It’s basically a huge generational leap coming to the game.”
According to Esaki, the tire collision model has also been overhauled. From the first game to Forza Motorsport 7, tires have always had a single point of contact with the track surface, and refreshed at 60 cycles per second (60Hz). In Forza Motorsport, there are now eight points of contact with the track surface, and the engine will refresh at 360 cycles per second (360Hz). That’s a 48x fidelity jump for a single tire collision.
Multiple tire compounds confirmed
Multiple tire compounds have been confirmed for Forza Motorsport, a first for the series. Tire compounds such as hard, medium and soft will deepen the gameplay and racing strategy, and Esaki said it will lead to “exciting new gameplay decisions during a race.”
Environmental factors will also need to be taken into account in Forza Motorsport, and have the potential to make each lap feel different, according to Esaki.
“We’re working on things like track temperature and how it affects things like grip and tyre pressure, and tyre wear. In addition, you can imagine how changes in the time of day and weather, along with the new tyre wear modelling and all of the new compounds lead to a much deeper driving and racing experience.”
Forza Motorsport car list
What kind of cars can we expect to see in Forza Motorsport, and more importantly, which vehicle will grace the game's cover? While that's hard for us to guess with much accuracy, we can at least get a sense of how many cars will be in the game, based on Forza Motorsport 7's total.
Forza Motorsport 7 featured 700 cars and 32 tracks, which is an impressive amount. While there's no guarantee the next game will beat this figure, mostly owing to the fact the cars will likely have to be remodelled or upgraded for the next-gen systems, we hope Forza Motorsport will at least come close to this figure.