Microsoft will discontinue the ability to listen to music stored on OneDrive via the Groove Music client on March 31st, ultimately removing the ability to play custom songs in Forza Horizon 3 using the dedicated in-game Groove Music radio station.
The news was revealed by the company in an official FAQ posted on the Microsoft Support website, before being later covered by Windows Central, and reads that; “The Groove Music OneDrive Streaming service will be retired on March 31, 2019. After that date, streaming your music through Forza Horizon 3 won't work, and the in-game OneDrive music feature will be turned off.”
Microsoft killed its Groove Music Pass subscription service at the end of 2017 and removed the ability to buy music from the Microsoft Store at the same time. However, both Groove Music and Forza Horizon 3 retained the ability to play music stored on the OneDrive service. Previously, the in-game radio station allowed you to play any song available on Groove Music providing you were subscribed to the service. It also offered users free trials for those who wished to check it out. Users could create playlists using the Groove Music app on Xbox One, Windows 10 or mobile devices before enabling Forza Horizon 3 to cycle through the set music on a designated playlist.
The Groove Music station in Forza Horizon 3 worked just like every other radio channel in the game. Music heard from your car speakers would naturally transition to a booming effect that overshadowed everything else as you drove into festival sites, whilst driving under tunnels and caves would leave your audio muffled for a few seconds until your car would pick up its signal waves once more.
This same OneDrive music ability was also promised for Forza Motorsport 7 before being delayed until after the game’s release and ultimately cancelled. Whilst Microsoft never officially confirmed the feature as being dead for Turn 10 Studios’ latest track racer, the discontinuation of OneDrive music support for Groove Music and Forza Horizon 3 shows that there’s no chance of it happening anytime soon. The ability to blast your own music through the in-game garage speakers and trackside by the pits was a feature headlined to media at Forza Motorsport 7’s behind-closed-doors demos at events like E3 and Gamescom, with tunes from classic rock bands used to demonstrate the feature.
“We want people in Forza 7 to be able to listen to the music they want to listen to,” developer Turn 10 Studios noted ahead of the game’s release. “We feel that’s important, but we also have this desire to bring people into the world of Forza, and with sound, we do that by making sure the sound feels like it’s being projected within the environment that you’re in.”
Whilst this functionality never made it into the retail product, the unique audio experience offered by Forza Motorsport 7’s positional music can still be experienced by the in-game score – composed in collaboration by Kaveh Cohen and Michael Nielsen.
As for Forza Horizon 4, that game also lacks the ability to play custom music, relying solely on Playground’s curated pick of tracks once again to officially make up the Horizon Britain festival line-up.
Whilst it’s a shame that custom music will no longer be playable in Forza Horizon 3 from the end of March onwards, the in-game soundtrack still offers a diverse line-up of artists and mixes across each of its unique radio stations and certainly offers a little something for everyone. Perhaps one day, we’ll see official Spotify or Apple Music integration in the Forza franchise – after all, it’s the series where dreams are driven.
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.