Recent Forza titles have all followed a fairly identical DLC
formula – a launch car pack, a car pass that includes 6 monthly car packs,
followed by 4 additional monthly car packs and then 2 big expansions sprinkled
in between. Forza Motorsport 7 doesn’t seem to be deviating from this plan,
with the ‘HOONIGAN’ car pack released at launch, ‘Fate of the Furious’ car pack
in October, ‘Samsung QLED TV’ car pack in November and the ‘Doritos’ car pack
What that therefore means, is that we can expect 2 major
expansions to be released during the game’s lifecycle. The question is then,
what will these expansions include in terms of content? Looking back at
previous Forza titles, 1 of the expansions has always been Porsche. The
exclusivity licence held by EA meant Turn 10 Studios had to obtain a costly
sub-licence to include Porsche in their games. To make the inclusion of Porsche
viable for Turn 10, Porsche vehicles were added to older titles as a paid
Of course, that exclusivity
licence has now expired, and Turn 10 were able to obtain a 6-year long
partnership with the German marque – allowing Porsche vehicles to feature in
Forza Motorsport 7 from launch and simultaneously rule out another Porsche
expansion. Instead, I believe that Forza Motorsport 7 will include an IMSA
expansion, as well as an Off-Road based expansion. It should be made expressly
clear that this is all speculation, and in no way has any of this been
confirmed or verified by any official source. That said, let’s take a look at
why I think these expansions are coming.
Let’s begin with my prediction of an IMSA expansion, as
there is more convincing evidence to support this theory. All the way back in
October, the International Motor Sports Association announced a so called
“Strategic Alliance” with Forza Motorsport 7. IMSA president Scott Atherton
released this statement regarding the alliance:
“This alliance between IMSA and the Forza franchise further
solidifies the long-standing relationship between these two outstanding brands.
IMSA cars and tracks have enjoyed a significant presence in the game for many
years, and we are proud to have our series featured to the millions who play
the game every day.”
A post on the official IMSA website mentions the fact that
more than 100 cars from IMSA history feature in Forza Motorsport 7, as well as
9 of the current 12 track calendar. The announcement was made during the final
round of the IMSA weekend, at the Petit Le Mans – an endurance race held at the
Road Atlanta race track. During the race weekend a Forza Motorsport stand could
be found in the paddock, and many of the cars taking place in the race featured
a Forza Motorsport 7 decal.
Interestingly, most of the cars that compete in IMSA are not
featured in Forza Motorsport 7. You’d have thought that an alliance like this
would bring some kind of in-game item – such as the Ford GTLM race car that was
added to Forza Motorsport 6 when Turn 10’s Ford partnership was announced in
2016. But there has been no mention of the alliance since the initial
announcement, and no in-game benefit seemingly for Turn 10. Unless of course
the current field of IMSA cars are being saved for a themed expansion…
Whilst we’re on the topic of the current field of IMSA cars,
let’s talk about the Change Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 car that competes in
the GTD class. Yeah, the one with the huge Forza Motorsport and Xbox logos
slapped all across the car. That sponsorship apparently hasn’t warranted Turn
10 including the Huracan GT3 in any Forza title to date. They did include the
Huracan Super Trofeo car in Forza Motorsport 6, before releasing it into Forza
Horizon 3 with part of the Change Racing livery as a gift car when the
sponsorship was announced. However, the GT3 variant of the car has not yet
featured in 6, Horizon 3 or 7 - which is odd since it’s literally a car
Xbox/Forza Motorsport sponsor.
The previously mentioned post on the IMSA website has
another small nugget of information that should be considered too. They list
off 20 car brands that are featured in Forza Motorsport 7 that are also
official partners of IMSA (essentially the car brands that race in the series).
They toss Lexus in as one of the brands featured in the game, but they aren’t.
Lexus are owned by Toyota, who have no road cars in Forza Motorsport 7. Lexus
therefore also fall victim to Toyota’s absence, which includes all road cars –
but doesn’t include race cars.
Lexus race cars could then feature in Forza Motorsport 7 - and
Lexus just so happen to have a GT3 car that runs in the GTD class within IMSA
run by the 3GT team. What’s more is that following the December update for Forza
Motorsport 7, a number of new cars were found in the game’s files – including
one titled ‘2016 Lexus RCF GT3’.
The final clue that I have collated up until now came with
the addition of the 2017 #92 Porsche 911 RSR. This was a car added to the game
as a bounty hunter car rewarded for beating Xbox Head Phil Spencer’s rivals
event time. While the car is called the #92, and in game features the WEC
Porsche Team’s livery, the thumbnail image for the car features the IMSA
Porsche Team’s #911 RSR. The RSR runs in the WEC’s GT Pro class, while in IMSA
it runs in the GTLM class – both of which run to the same GTE specifications.
It seems menial on its own, but when you add it to the larger picture this clue
holds much more weight.
I genuinely believe we will see
an IMSA expansion for Forza Motorsport 7, and I think many fans would love for
such an expansion to come to the game. The longing for a larger focus on
Motorsport is clear on social media from hardcore fans and casual players
alike, and an IMSA expansion bringing plenty of GT3, GTE and DPi cars to the
game as well as a new track would certainly satisfy.
off-road based expansion is something that I see as very likely, but it’s
definitely much more up in-the-air in comparison to an IMSA expansion. Essentially,
the main argument here is that there are just too many off-road race cars
within Forza Motorsport 7 for there to not to be an off-road track to race them
on coming to the game. Why would Turn 10 bother with obtaining licences for
cars and scanning said cars in if there is no off-road track to drive them on?
From Ken Block’s Ford Focus RS RX, to the multitude of different
stadium trucks, to the dune buggies like the Alumi Craft Class 10, to the 2
Arctic Trucks Toyota pickups – there is a massive variety of off-road based
cars. However, something Forza Motorsport titles have never had is an off-road
track. We’ve never seen something like a RallyCross track with multiple surface
types, or even a single surface type off-road track like a Rally Stage. I think
with the number of off-roaders transferred over from Horizon 3 to Motorsport 7,
as well as new additions, there’s a very good chance that something is planned
for these cars.
And actually, talking of Ken Block, he has been heavily involved in the marketing of Forza Motorsport 7. He, alongside Tanner Foust, is an official brand partner and both feature as voices of motorsport in-game. Why choose 2 off-road racing drivers for a game with only track racing?
We also know that the ForzaTech engine can run different
off-road surfaces, as seen in Forza Horizon 3. There we saw sand, gravel, dirt,
water and even snow as terrain surfaces that cars could drive over. Who’s to
say Turn 10 don’t transfer some of these surface types over to Forza Motorsport
7 as part of an off-road expansion?
In addition to all the other off-road cars already in the
game, one of the other cars added to the game’s files alongside the aforementioned
Lexus RCF GT3 is the ‘2016 Honda Civic GRC’. That’s a Global RallyCross Honda
Civic – which would bring the number of RallyCross cars in the game up to 3
without even considering how many other cars would be added with an expansion.
All things considered I really do think an off-road
expansion is coming to Forza Motorsport 7. It would certainly be a very
different addition to the game when compared to previous expansion for other
Forza Motorsport titles. It would also bring the fight to Project CARS 2, which
also features off-road based racing – predominantly RallyCross.
Isaac is one of our lead writers for FullThrottle, and has a lot of passion for racing games and real-world motorsports.
He’s also a competitive online racer in organized league events, and you can expect plenty of coverage from on real-world motorsport, racing games, and eSports.