With the Indianapolis 500 taking place later this month, Forza Motorsport 7 has added a variety
of IndyCar events, some of which are even being used as official qualifiers for the current season of the Forza Racing
Championship. In addition, the Verizon IndyCar Series has also become the latest sponsor of the ForzaRC – with its logo being prominently displayed throughout the Round 3 Wednesday
Showdown livestreams earlier this week.
IndyCar made its Forza debut with the launch of Forza Motorsport 5 – the flagship launch title for Xbox One in 2013, and developer Turn 10 has updated them with newer models in both Forza Motorsport 6 and Forza Motorsport 7. The studio also frequently works with Team Penske IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden on a variety of different Forza projects, and he’ll even be appearing as this month’s Bounty Hunter target in the ForzaRC
IndyCar Challenge with three other professional IndyCar drivers. Newgarden is also an ambassador for the franchise and has appeared in various promotional material for the series over the years.
However, the relationship between the Forza franchise and IndyCar could soon strengthen with the arrival of the new ‘IR-18’
Dallara DW12 2018 spec models. As spotted by GTPlanet, the Chief Marketing Officer of IndyCar, C.J. O’Donnell, recently spoke to Racer.com in an interview, answering various fan questions – including one on IndyCar’s involvement within gaming. In his response, O’Donnell reveals that the Forza franchise will soon by adding the latest IndyCar IR-18 models sometime “this season.”
“We are expanding our presence in gaming. IndyCar has a larger presence in the latest releases from Project CARS and iRacing. Forza is also adding the new IndyCar to its platform this season,” he explained. “Unfortunately, we do not have a game developer signed to build an IndyCar branded/dedicated platform (at least, not yet). Discussions regarding this feature platform are ongoing, and we hope to have some good news in the coming year.”
The IR-18 made its sim-racing debut
in iRacing in March, but this is the first we’ve heard of it appearing in Forza Motorsport. Whilst it wasn’t specified by O’Donnell, the IR-18 will most likely be added to Forza Motorsport 7 in an upcoming content update – similar to the 2018 Honda
Civic Type-R added in the latest release. It’s worth keeping in-mind that the Forza Motorsport 7 Car Pass ended with the release of the K1 Speed
Car Pack in April, but that doesn’t rule out the addition of future standalone Car Packs.
Another topic on the mind of Forza fans is expansions. Forza Motorsport 6 had already received its Porsche
Expansion with the NASCAR
Expansion launching on May 17th when comparing its post-release lifespan to Forza Motorsport 7. Likewise, Forza
Horizon 3 had also received its Blizzard
Mountain and Hot
Wheels Expansions by now. So, does this mean we’ll see a dedicated IndyCar Expansion for Forza Motorsport 7 like the NASCAR Expansion in the future? It’s possible, though our bets are still on IMSA
and Off-road GRC Expansions – that is, if we’re to receive two post-launch expansions for Forza Motorsport 7.
It’s important to remember that Turn 10 Studios has not confirmed whether any expansions will be made available for Forza Motorsport 7. The developer also hasn’t offered an Expansion
Pass for the game, which was made available at the launch of Forza Horizon 3 for fans to purchase. Going back to the topic of the IndyCar IR-18, it’s likely we’ll see this made available as a standalone download available to all players like the aforementioned Honda.
It’s also worth paying attention to O’Donnell’s comment in relation to a dedicated IndyCar video game. Whilst there isn’t a developer or publisher signed to work on such a project, it’s something the team are discussing internally with news to come sometime over the next 12 months. Most likely, one would expect something similar to Codemasters’ annual F1
series of games, but for now, it appears the focus is on working with other racing franchises like Forza, Project CARS, and iRacing to host IndyCar content.
With the brand making its esports debut in the Forza Racing
Championship and the arrival of the IndyCar IR-18 in Forza
Motorsport 7 coming “this season,” based on O’Donnell’s response, it’s clear the motorsport series is making moves in the gaming space and has a lot of interest in the industry, and this is only expected to expand in the future, especially if a dedicated IndyCar video game is established and released.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.