Of the many game franchises that have been forced into an annual release cycle, Microsoft's Forza series from multiple Xbox Game Studios is one of the most welcome ones. In 2019 however, for the first time in eight years, there will be no new Forza release. No, there was no Forza Motorsport 8 at E3 2019.
Easily the best active racing series, and certainly one of the best looking games all around, the Forza games have embraced a pattern of alternating between the more sim-based Motorsport titles and more open-world arcade-style Horizon titles for years, most recently embracing Xbox's 'Play Anywhere' initiative and coming to PC.
Developers Turn 10 Studios, Sumo Digital, Xbox Game Studios, and Playground Games have all put in work on the franchise and made Forza the most reliably good IP Microsoft has going for its consoles, which has become especially notable on the Xbox One generation where many of their other exclusive games have woefully under-delivered.
In Xbox's largest game showcase ever (in the number of titles shown at least) it was odd to see no mention of a brand new game for this fall, instead opting for a LEGO-themed expansion for Forza Horizon 4.
Dan Greenawalt, Forza franchise Creative Director at Turn 10 Studios, told IGN that that they're doing something very different for their next project and that - combined with lengthier post-launch support for their last game - is why they're taking more time with their next game and that's something we can appreciate.
"I announced on a stream a few months back that we were shifting the weight of our studio - we were changing our focus - away from Forza Motorsport 7 and towards our next project, but that we were doing it all very, very differently. As of right now, Motorsport itself is actually in concept; it's just something we're currently building. And this is after supporting Forza Motorsport 7 for longer than we ever have before."
Interestingly, Turn 10 may not be the only Forza lead studio working on something new and different. Rumors and reports for some time have pointed towards Playground Games working a new open-world title that's really Fable 4 - another game fans were hoping Xbox would reveal. It seems next year is the real leap year for Xbox where we'll finally get gameplay for Halo Infinite, a look (and name) at the Xbox Scarlett, and announcements for the next-gen Forza, Fable, and more.
Sources: IGN, Xbox