Forza Motorsport 7 made its debut on Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 3rd, 2017. Not only was it the first Forza game built from the ground up for PC, but it was also Microsoft’s showpiece title for its new Xbox One X console. However, instead of moving on from the game after its release, developer Turn 10 Studios has continued to support Forza Motorsport 7 with post-launch feature implementation and various improvements across core aspects of the game. It’s been almost two years since the title was first unveiled at E3 2017 but Turn 10 has delivered several content updates to its sim-focused racing title based on community feedback.
Speaking on the latest installment of the Forza Monthly broadcast show live from Seattle, WA, Creative Director of the Forza franchise, Dan Greenawalt, revealed that the team at Turn 10 Studios has begun shifting over to its next project. Whilst Forza Motorsport 7 will continue to be supported with new content updates, feature additions and improvements, the core team is now focused on the future – the next all-new installment into the Forza Motorsport franchise. With this in-mind, Turn 10 is now entering the conceptual phase of its next title, but whilst this would typically be kept secretive until the game’s official unveil at E3, the developer is handling things significantly different this time of round by involving the community from the very beginning.
Greenawalt noted that he wants players to be involved in the development of the next Forza Motorsport title and to collaborate with the team in shaping the future of automotive entertainment. Furthermore, the work that has been done on Forza Motorsport 7 over the past year and will continue to be done in the future all benefits their next version too. Turn 10 is changing everything about how it approaches its development cycle by encouraging the community to be involved in the entire process from the very beginning. Below, you can find the comments made by Dan Greenawalt on the show, which were transcribed by ManteoMax on the official Forza forums:
“What we're saying very specifically is that Forza Motorsport 7 has had a strong amount of support from the team, and we're going to be shifting our weight,” Greenawalt said. “So there's still updates to come: you heard about Forza Race Regulations, and we're going to be coming out with a private and then public beta and then rolling that out; you know, we're not done with esports, that's an exciting part to us as well so we're going to be doing updates on that in the future. And of course, we're going to be doing other updates to the game. But the weight of the team is shifting over to our next project. So, we're getting into that concept phase.”
“Now in the past, that concept phase would be kind of subterranean. We'd kind of do it with ourselves, we'd work with our dev partners, and we'd bounce our concepts off ourselves,” he continued. “But we're going to be doing it differently this time. We want to do it in public. We want to do it with our fans. Does that mean early rollouts? I don't know. And that's really what it comes down to: I don't know.”
“But the big news is the team is transitioning its weight. We're moving our weight over to this new project we're working on and we're doing it in a new way,” Greenawalt added. “We can listen to the team, open conduit, we want our players to go to Discord, get involved with us, to really be part of this process with us, to make their voice heard. And we, together, will shape the future of automotive entertainment.”
To coincide with this news, the developer has launched its own official Discord server for the Forza franchise. Turn 10 is encouraging the community to use it as a place to share their own ideas and suggestions, and the team will also be using it as a place to publicly discuss its next project, too. In addition to feedback from Discord, Turn 10 has also begun hosting Skype interviews with key members of the community, and even in-person panel events, as seen at last year’s Forza Racing Championship events. Greenawalt noted that the team remains committed to its esports efforts and will continue to invest more in the compeititve scene moving forward.
Since the release of Forza Motorsport 7, the team at Turn 10 Studios has been eager to get the community involved and engage them more deeply into the development process than ever before. Not only does this change the conceptual process of the game, but it also shapes the future of the franchise – the team’s vision, as well as their direction moving forward. 2018 was noted as “the most transformational year” for the developer. Instead of immediately beginning work on the next Forza Motorsport installment, the team were focused entirely on post-launch support and improvements based on feedback from the community. Forza Motorsport 7 gave Turn 10 this “great gift of time,” as described by the game’s Creative Director, Chris Esaki, and this gave them the chance to really invest into the product.
Esaki said that the team are happy with how Forza Motorsport 7 is shaping up as a product, calling it “a wonderful gift, a wonderful thing to invest in.” It also benefits fans immensely because the game meets their needs and is driven by community feedback. Previously, the team would ship the game, patch out any notable bugs and begin working on expansions whilst also moving on to their next title. Back then, the team would also fear visiting the Forza forums as fans were angry and frustrated over the lack of fixes and desired features. Nowadays when the team visits the forums, they feel encouraged seeing all the praise from fans, and they feel better connected to players now, too. Not only is the product better for it, but it affects the entire development process of the franchise and makes it a player-led, fan-led initiative for a better collaboration process between the studio and its fans.
Greenawalt also spoke about the overall vision for the future of the franchise and their goal of being more reactive towards the desires of their players, by getting people excited about cars and bringing the next generation into this tribe of all-things four-wheeled – to shape the future of automotive entertainment together by adapting a player-driven focus for its next Forza Motorsport title and by openly developing it alongside the community. “I don’t know how this is going to go, all I know is we’re going to take this journey together,” he said. “We’re going to be open, we’re going to be honest, we’re going to find the right way to have this discussion with the fans at multiple levels – and together, we’ll do something cool.”
Forza Motorsport 7 will receive its next major content update on Tuesday, March 12th, featuring the initial rollout of Forza Race Regulations. This cloud-powered, AI-driven adjudication system has been in the works for more than a year and promises to become a genre-defining feature that sets up the franchise for the future. This month’s release also contains further improvements to drifting and force-feedback, which are two areas of the game that have received significant overhauls over this past year, all based on feedback from the community – a key component of the development cycle for the Forza franchise as Turn 10 now enters the conceptual stage of its next installment into the long-running racing series.
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.