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Turn 10 and Microsoft are taking a risk with Forza: Horizon, but Forza director Dan Greenawalt believes such risks are needed to meet the vision for the franchise.

Horizon is in the hands of Playground Games, which features the "core group" behind the Codemasters Racing Studio team that worked on establishing series including DiRT and GRID.

"Of course it's a risk," Greenawalt told VideoGamer.com. "We have developed a team and a process and a vision that has been all done internally, and we've had great success. Four products in eight years, good scores, good sales, and we've been building our momentum as a franchise."

However, Greenawalt believes more can be achieved.

"The vision we have is very ambitious - gamers into car lovers, and car loves into gamers. It's a trite statement, but what it represents for our team is actually a very ambitious goal. To really make a difference in car culture, and really make a difference in gaming culture. Preferably both.

"To me it's not about competition with them. Having a colleague I trust to help me climb Everest, that's what I want. The next question is, do I trust them? There's of course risk. But I do trust their pedigree. Some of the best racing games in the last twenty years have come out of that post-Psygnosis fracturing and reconvening of the UK racing game development studios, and that's Black Rock, and Slightly Mad, and Bizarre Creations, and even Criterion. There's a whole lot of these great racing game developers [in the UK], and the talent [Playground Games] has attracted and distilled down into this team gives me great faith."

Greenawalt also made it clear that Horizon isn't Turn 10 or Microsoft's concept given to Playground Games, but the idea of Playground Games which they have been allowed to run with.

"We didn't say 'hey you guys should make a game like this', it was their vision. It was theirs. And they had embraced our franchise vision and made sure their vision aligned to the greater franchise good," explained Greenawalt. "And that just develops faith, right? I hear that sort of rhetoric from them and see that pedigree and I go 'I think I can trust you to help me climb Everest'.

"This is a complete sharing thing. Obviously they're going to be benefiting from us, and we're going to be benefiting from them. DiRT's a fantastic game, and it was a lot of creativity that went into refactoring Colin McRae into DiRT. Some people were miffed about the change to Colin McRae, some people were brought into the franchise because of the changes. They showed the ability to take great risk, there's tremendous innovation in things like rewind.

"I see this very much as a sharing thing, and their great ideas will come back into the internal Turn 10 development, and the internal Turn 10 development will be going into Playground Games."

The game's set for release this autumn.

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EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist@ Clockpunk

Sounds very tempting, I'll see if I can get myself a copy :)
Posted 18:37 on 06 March 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ EverTheOptimist

There is a LOT to do, so it will keep you busy! I'm sure FM can fill you in on the Casino add-on (especially its Poker ;)). For what it is worth, there is a VG.com club (with 2 of the 4 exclusive cars). The second big DLC pack is coming out soon, which will add bikes to the mix. One of last year's overlooked gems - Ghost5, Wido and myself had some very fun times in the game. If you get it, send me a message, and I'll happily show you around.
Posted 18:34 on 06 March 2012
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

Clockpunk, you've just reminded me of TDU2's existence. I quite fancied it when it came out but didn't have the funds and forgot about it. Might look for it now :)
Posted 18:28 on 06 March 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

As one who loves Test Drive Unlimited 2 - in spite of its flaws - a big part of which was the open-world exploration and discovery of tucked away little places, I can honestly say I am extremely excited by Forza: Horizon. I traded Forza 4 (Collector's Edition, no less) in after a week, because, as good a race simulator as it was, the track-based approach was far, FAR too repetitive.

The only racing games I have are TDU, TDU2 and Burnout: Paradise.

Here's hoping it pays off for Turn 10.
Posted 18:22 on 06 March 2012
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist

Nowadays I think making any game is a risk.
Posted 14:40 on 06 March 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee

I don't think it's as much of a risk as they think. It seems that Turn 10 are just protective over their IP (fair enough). Really, the ex-Codie's boys will shake it up and let rip. As the post touches on, if there's one thing that UK developers do well, it's racing games!
Posted 12:39 on 06 March 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 26/10/2012
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 257 18
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