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In light of Forza's Massive Success, Let's revisit Sony's decision to shut down Evolution Studios

Hugare

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Their games were good but never great

Forza Horizon was great from the get go.

Again and again, Playground delivered, never missing a beat. It's the most consistent series in terms of quality under Microsoft, ever.

There was a huge discrepancy in terms of quality between Playground and Evolution Studios.
 

Aenima

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OnRush was a big flop too.

Evolution people got fired from Codemasters as well, after that game failed.

Driveclub was a shitty attempt at realistic sim-ish racing, and a poor, boring arcade game.
Yeah, my problem with Driveclub was the sim-ish gameplay instead of pure arcade and fun gameplay. Some supercars was just frustating to control specially during rain. Any car in Gran Turismo is easier to control. When you make an arcade racer that is harder to control than a sim game, you fucked up.

I read that now the Evolution team is just a support team for other Codemaster projects after some of the lead devs got laid off cuz OnRush poor sales.
 
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Honey Bunny

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Meanwhile PD are stealing a living

inb4 sales figures, I've actually played their games :messenger_loudly_crying:

edit: Motorstorm was fucking fantastic
 
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bitbydeath

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The sad irony is that it was Evolution (and Insomniac) who helped keep Sony alive in the early PS3 days.

Evolution also managed to make 4 games during the PS3 days while most studios struggled to deliver more than one.
 
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Varteras

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I mean it's really simple. The MotorStorm franchise was in constant decline after the first game. Driveclub was a mess so it got delayed an entire year and was still in rough shape at launch. After its closure many in the studio were picked up by Codemasters and set to work on Onrush. Which flopped so hard many of them, including the director who also directed Driveclub after the first one left, were fired. The racing genre is really hard to get a hit in these days and Sony at one point had at least 3 studios making racing games. I really don't know why people have this great love for Evolution Studio. They were a decent studio, at best, who screwed up bad at a point when they already weren't proving to be worth the paycheck and the times made them redundant for Sony.
 
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El Pistolero

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Yep that's on my top 5 biggest screw ups by Sony over the last 10 years! Imagine what one of their games would look like on the PS5 or PSVR2.

Them not supporting DS in time and making a move to buy From; The RaD not being given a second chance; Atlus being acquired by Sega instead...
SIE, just like the rest of Sony, is usually late to the party and quite reactionary.
 
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SlimySnake

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MS made a lot of boneheaded calls in terms of scrapping first party. For some reason Playground Games survived the Mattrick purge. Sony cut a few studios as well, but did it a lot less than MS at the time.
PG was third party until 2018. MS didnt own them, but they did continue to contract them to make Forza Horizon games.
 
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SlimySnake

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Actually think it was just part of a larger move by Andrew House (then CEO.)

He shutdown most of their English developers.
- Evolution
- Bigbig
- Liverpool
- Cambridge

All got shutdown by House in a short period of time. Maybe it was just a coincidence that all those teams got shutdown, but it kinda looks like House wanted to significantly reduce 1st party in the UK. (Which is odd since he's from the UK, IDK.)
Jimbo was head of Sony Europe at the time. He's got blood on his hands too.

But yes, House probably made the final call.
 
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But Motorstorm did sell. It was the best selling PS3 exclusive at the time. It sold 3 million units in just over a year.


And I dont think I forgot to mention that Rift and Apocalypse sold poorly. It's in the case against Evo section. ;p

And DriveClub was not a flop. it sold 2 million units by Summer 2015. It was selling roughly on par with other Sony exclusives like KZSF (2 million in 2 months), Infamous 1 million in 1 month and Bloodborne (2 million in 7 month).

The game was by no means a commercial flop.


None of those other 1 million-selling games were from studios in the UK.

UK games development is expensive because of the high wages and strong currency, so in real money terms, a 1 million unit selling Driveclub would make significantly less profit than a 1 million-selling Bloodborne developed by From Software.
 
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SlimySnake

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None of those other 1 million-selling games were from studios in the UK.

UK games development is expensive because of the high wages and strong currency, so in real money terms, a 1 million unit selling Driveclub would make significantly less profit than a 1 million-selling Bloodborne developed by From Software.
Understood, but Playground Games is from England too. In fact, almost all the big name racing studios are from UK. Criterion, Codemasters, Bizarre Creations, Slight Mad Studios are all UK studios. They all seemed to survive selling 2 million units per game.
 
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Keihart

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an open world motorstorm would of been the logical next step but i guess evolution weren't into that at the time.
I mean, imagine combining in one map all of the themes of the original games recicling some of the desings, snow , lava, earthquakes and cities, etc.
Cool shit, they even had the festival stuff and multiple vehicles already into it and mechanics like cooling the engines and whatnot.

Big oportunity missed.
 
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W11d

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I want a new MotorStorm. Similar to Pacific Rift but an open world


There's no a game like this on playstation right now
 
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Mobilemofo

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I've played alot of racers over the years, but driveclub i loved alot. it was beautiful. had a blast with photomode. i remember zooming into my porsche in the rain and seeing the detail and rain drops. enjoyed the gameplay too. i would love a driveclub 2 on the ps5, but not trackbound.
 
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sainraja

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But Motorstorm did sell. It was the best selling PS3 exclusive at the time. It sold 3 million units in just over a year.


And I dont think I forgot to mention that Rift and Apocalypse sold poorly. It's in the case against Evo section. ;p

And DriveClub was not a flop. it sold 2 million units by Summer 2015. It was selling roughly on par with other Sony exclusives like KZSF (2 million in 2 months), Infamous 1 million in 1 month and Bloodborne (2 million in 7 month).

The game was by no means a commercial flop.

And Evolution went on to publish MotorStorm Pacific Rift, MotorStorm: Apocalypse and DriveClub. Sony also had it made for the Vita. It had more than it's fair share of releases due to the initial success you are referencing.
 

sainraja

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This is wreckfest:



S tier game from Bugbear

This is Destruction Allstars:



S tier [redacted]

I HAD TO...I had to respond, because 1. Wreckfest is amazing game, successor to legendary Flatout. D A is shit from past Bizarre Creation devs, Lucid games. Which is terrible tragedy.
Well, I don't know how to best explain it....the game felt solid in terms of how it controlled but some of the mechanics they chose and the lack of full on crashing or crash physics hurt it. The cars controlled pretty good. Also boost being restricted was a weird choice.
 

RAIDEN1

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All that was missing in Forza Horizon was implementing some cops into the game...bit like Driver San Francisco...only difference is you could plough through fields, dunes, the jungle while being chased by them! Would have been awesome!!
 
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kyliethicc

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Jimbo was head of Sony Europe at the time. He's got blood on his hands too.

But yes, House probably made the final call.
Jimbo was head of SCEE Sales & Marketing. Not 1st party studios.

Shuhei ran WWS. He reported to House.

Jim Ryan and Jack Tretton had nothing to do with Product Development (the game dev side of Sony). They were in charge of retail, sales, & marketing in their respective regions. Jim Ryan had nothing to do with 1st party games (PD) until he became VP of SIE in 2018, and then CEO in 2019. Until then, all he did was marketing & sales. Each division is its own and each head reports to the CEO.

This was SIE 2016 corp ladder when they started to merge things globally.
Ryan had nothing to do with WWS. That was Layden's division, and before 2016 it was Shu's.




Then in 2018 they removed Layden as head of SIEA and fully unified everything under Jim Ryan as head of all sales & marketing globally. Layden remained head of WWS until he quit. As you can see, SIEA SIEE and SIEJA were just sub-divisions in charge of sales & marketing. Same thing with the old SCEA SCEE and SCEJA divisions. Thats why the head of SCEA always did E3 shows. (Trenton, Layden.) E3 was an American marketing event. While Jim Ryan did a Paris Games Week show since it was a European marketing event.

 
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captainraincoat

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I know I’ll get heat for this but driveclub wasn’t really that good

it had a horrible driving model and it took about 20 patches to be a fun playable game

people also praise it graphically but it was simple camera tricks and that illusion quickly faded when you started to pan the camera around (which was locked to certain places to hide you from seeing the tricks)

wreckfest is still the best driving game on PlayStation
 
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AllBizness

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What success? Forza has 6 million players not 6 million sales neither versions
of Forza were ever big sellers just pack in games with xbox consoles they never sold well on their own.
 

RPS37

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Pacific Rift was soooo goood.
Tried to go back and play it again on PS3 though and IQ was complete ass.
 

ACESHIGH

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The sad thing is that these games will not be re released due to the f*cking licensing issues that plague racing games. I'd love these games to make a comeback on PC.
 
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EDMIX

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I know the knee-jerk thing to do is to compare Microsoft and Sony, but to me the better question would be "In light of Forza's Massive Success, Let's revisit EA's decision to shut down the Burnout franchise"

Burnout, imo, remains the best arcade racer ever made. Hell, EA just abandoned the franchise after Burnout Paradise and Playground Games thankfully brought that open world formula to Forza. Criterion exists now only to do mop-up duty on games like Battlefield. Just a joke that it has been 13 years since we had a new Burnout.

rant over GIF

Agreed, but we don't really now what EA has them doing in terms of the new Need For Speed stuff, EA in the past has expressed not jumping on the open world thing (which I'm fucking shocked they didn't as EA supports current trends, but EA last gen also tried so many new things compared to old EA which I feel many don't give them the credit for)

That being said, I think you'll see some big open world thing from them as they want some open world crime type game ala GTA/Mafia/Watchdogs, I also believe they want that Crew/Horizon money too as to why they bought Code Masters, so I feel its likely they indeed want that next Need For Speed to be some open world thing. As for Burnout, I'd rather it stay what it is vs chase Horizon , but either could do the open world thing as Paradise did exist.

Also the team will move back on Need For Speed after BF2042, it was simply to assist the launch, not to only do Battlefield or something.


The thing about Evolution's closure and that you forgot to mention is that most of their games around that time were flops...and not just because Sony didn't market them very well. They also didn't review well.

Motorstorm 1 did well for them, but the rest of their games...I can see why Sony shut them down. I think the delays on Driveclub and the issues at launch was more like the straw that broke the camels back type thing.

but where are these games? Their September showing was pretty bad. They wasted 30 of the 40 minutes showing third party trash
Games take time to make and Sony has already expressed no longer wanting to reveal games deep in advance. If its 2022 or 2023 it seems Sony is open to showing it, other then that they want to spread announcements to gain more coverage vs trying to force several reveals at once. That worked well for PS5 as a fucking controller was trending on Google for fuck sakes, they know how to generate hype.

As for the showing, they need to support their 3rd party partners during a time like Covid where even their studios are effected, so when many games are pushed back, they still need to market reasons to buy a PS5 on top of marketing those 3rd party games so get help too. That is not wasted and that isn't fucking "trash" simply because you personally hate the games, stop fucking adding in your personal shit to any of this, it hurts your point greatly. You can't be out here trying to have anyone take your view seriously and then showing this deep fucking bias against a team, publisher, 3rd party vs 1st party etc. When you have something like Call Of Duty move 30 million units and majority units sold are on Playstation, they need to fucking market that, that helps them as a BUSINESS, if you want someone to take what you are saying in terms of business seriously, don't add in some personal emotional shit man, I don't even play Call Of Duty and I understand the value of those deals and why they'd market 3rd party games during that press event.

btw, I don't even fucking like COD, I'm a Battlefield fan, but this is about BUSINESS, its no about what I like or what you like sir, separate that and more will listen. How can I even believe your view point if its just based on some bias of what you hate?
we need to blame them for making Wreckfest instead of hiring the ex-Evo studios devs to make a new Motorstorm for launch
Nah bud, with how much Driveclub was delayed, we know not of internally all the shit that studio was causing during that development. They closed that studio for a logical reason. Writing some fanfiction shit like "should have had ex-Xenosaga devs to make new Xenosaga IP for launchz" when you know not of how that shit was going to play out. You might WANT Motorstorm for personal reasons, you need to factor WHY that studio was closed down and consider what you want and even what Sony wants, isn't what that studio can do anymore in that time frame with a respectable budget. What ever happened to that studio, it sounds justified that Sony wouldn't be out here spending money on a studio that has massive issues internally and we've seen Sony keep studios on life support for generations, but all good games must come to an end. They are still a business. Wreckfest likely also didn't cost what Driveclub cost and they likely didn't have all the issues that Evolution probably had.
Paying for Deathloop is ridiculous too. Pay your internal studios more so they can get games out faster.
Well its not an either or. If the game must be delayed and they need more time, it makes sense to give them that time while also still having 3rd party deals for marketing and timed stuff.

ie...BOTH. So throwing more money at it doesn't mean the issues will work out faster bud. Keep in mind they are growing their studios btw

Several studios have expanded on top of them forming a new studio in San Diego, so they are doing both bud.
Herman's gone shopping for these multiplayer studios, and it's just the wrong way to go about doing that. Ex-Bungie devs, Ex-CoD devs, Ex-Star Wars devs. Those investments should be made within first party studios.
Again....they are doing both.


Stop making such fake narratives man. You are saying shit like "should be made" when they are currently doing that and have already made several statements about continuing to invest.

I dont know. It feels like they were twiddling their thumbs until the Zenimax acquisition and only then went into buying frenzy
Nah bud, they stated they were in talks to aquire years before that deal happened and even that deal with Zenimax itself was YEARS in the making, you are not talking about something that just happens in a day or something.

Be like "it feels like" yea I don't fucking go on feels with this shit, I go on FACTS of objectively what has been stated officially by the company and then go off that. Your "feels" is also based on literally nothing but that, "feels", this is a factual thing that can be looked up sir, I'll leave you to feel what ever you want, but I'll provide you with factual information so we can actually talk about the facts of this matter vs feels. That is why you even post a lot of this weird stuff where you ask for this instead of that or should be doing this etc while not knowing they are doing both, have been doing both, are not either ors etc. If you are just going based on "feels" vs facts, of course you might make such odd statements



So I greatly question how anyone can take what you say seriously if you didn't know this... yet I should factor how you "feel" vs facts though? Really now...
Sony Bend spent 2 years between 2019 and 2021 on pitching Days Gone 2 and Uncharted spinoffs with nothing to show. Even Kojima who makes games ever 3 years has pretty much wasted the last two years because sony didnt greenlight a game for him immediately.

Sony Bend is working on a new IP, something that would cost MORE MONEY then a sequel and not having anything to "show" simply means Sony doesn't want to reveal titles too early and wants to spread out their marketing. You don't know what Sony and Kojima have worked out as they don't need to work shit out "immediately" and I'm a massive Kojima fan, but this isn't about fandom, feels, etc, this is about business.

They have their reasons for why they are not revealing all things in 1 day sir. I'd trust what they are doing over whole feels thing anyday.
 

PSYGN

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This decision was probably made by suits looking at raw figures and not people who played their games hence they never seen the potential or harnessed their talents in a way that could pay off. In short, people in wrong positions making dumb decisions.
 
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mckmas8808

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Actually think it was just part of a larger move by Andrew House (then CEO.)

He shutdown most of their English developers.
- Evolution
- Bigbig
- Liverpool
- Cambridge

All got shutdown by House in a short period of time. Maybe it was just a coincidence that all those teams got shutdown, but it kinda looks like House wanted to significantly reduce 1st party in the UK. (Which is odd since he's from the UK, IDK.)

You may be on to something. Weird though.....

Just saying lol. Motorstorm was way more fun.

Racing games need to pick a lane. GT and Mario Kart get that. Hence they succeed. Same with Forza Motorsport / Horizon. While Project Cars 3 tried to make their niche sim game into a more casual friendly sim-lite racing game (basically like Driveclub) and it flopped. At least Need for Speed had fun police chases.


What are you talking about? Forza Horizon isn't an arcade games like Mario Kart. It's closer to Driveclub.
 
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Stuart360

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Even though a lot of Gaffers liked Driveclub, the game got middling reviews, and i think that was the problem.
If Driveclub had got great reviews, but still underperformed, Sony may of been like 'look the game didnt sell well, but the game was great. You did your part and lets try again and see what we can do'. The fact the game got middling reviews meant rightly or wrongly, Sony will look at that and see avergae reviews resulting in poor sales.

It sucks either way because a next gen MotorStorm could of been something special.
 

kyliethicc

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You may be on to something. Weird though.....




What are you talking about? Forza Horizon isn't an arcade games like Mario Kart. It's closer to Driveclub.
You can't drive a car off a cliff in Driveclub.

Forza Horizon is basically open world Mario Kart with Forza car models.

Its good looking sure, but there's nothing simmy in FH. Its an arcade racing game.
 
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ripeavocado

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Huge mistake.

Sony should have kept the talent and firing the management that was responsible for the disaster that was the release of the game.

They shut down the entire studio and part of the management had a failing career in other AAA studios.
That's how fucked up this industry is
 

ShirAhava

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Motorstorm Apocalypse was the last PlayStation Exclusive I even remotely cared about

The timing of the "PSN Hacku" was a damn shame

The Forza Horizon series is such a half-step as an arcade racer it doesn't even come close to filling the void

Thank goodness for Crusin' Blast my personal GOTY
 
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EDMIX

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Even though a lot of Gaffers liked Driveclub, the game got middling reviews, and i think that was the problem.
If Driveclub had got great reviews, but still underperformed, Sony may of been like 'look the game didnt sell well, but the game was great. You did your part and lets try again and see what we can do'. The fact the game got middling reviews meant rightly or wrongly, Sony will look at that and see avergae reviews resulting in poor sales.

It sucks either way because a next gen MotorStorm could of been something special.

Great points, I wish many understood this.

Questionable reviews, poor sales, many delays and we don't know just how troubled that development was or has been for other titles. I always saw that closer more along the lines of the straw that broke the camels back type thing. Sony has kept many teams alive for years of "meh" or "ok" sales lol So it tells me they didn't just react to Driveclub, but this had likely been a long time coming based on a list of things that just continued over time. Sony is one of the few publishers that takes lots of risk every gen and is willing to invest in something new even if it doesn't work out, like ....for a while.

Eyetoy during the PS2 days
PS3 with move
PS3 with PS Home lol (good times)
PS4 with VR
PSVita
those weird phone PS4 games (can't remember their names) one of them was called Hidden Agenda and it was like some social game or something lol
SOE and many more.

They will try new things, they will invest and the will give many, many things a shot even with many entries, but when its not working out, they need to part ways and focus on what is working. So I don't think its that they didn't give them a chance, I think its that they've BEEN giving them that chance likely for years and we just didn't know what was going on internally. So it might look like a knee jerk reaction, but they likely had issues for some time that kept adding up.
 

skybaby

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You can cry all you want about Driveclub, but PGR was the better racer and MS killed it as well.
 
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Stuart360

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You can cry all you want about Driveclub, but PGR was the better racer and MS killed it as well.
It actually wasnt killed by MS. Activision bought Bizaare Creations, not long after PGR4 if i remember right. And i suppose MS is thinking is their room for another first party racer when they already have the Motorsport and Horizon series.

I would buy a new PGR by the way.
 

sainraja

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I am not sure why anyone didn't expect Forza Horizon 5 to do good. It's been a successful IP for MS for years; I mean, it's the firth entry for a reason. Slimy Snake, are you just now discovering it?
I am enjoying the game. It has all the good things from Burnout (minus the crashing and takedowns — really wish they would add those.)
 
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Even though a lot of Gaffers liked Driveclub, the game got middling reviews, and i think that was the problem.
If Driveclub had got great reviews, but still underperformed, Sony may of been like 'look the game didnt sell well, but the game was great. You did your part and lets try again and see what we can do'. The fact the game got middling reviews meant rightly or wrongly, Sony will look at that and see avergae reviews resulting in poor sales.

It sucks either way because a next gen MotorStorm could of been something special.
DC got crap reviews. And it was delayed a year too. Sony tricked PS4 gamers by pulling it last minute around a month before launch too. At that time the game should had already been gold, discs pressed and ready to ship out. But they kept their mouths shut to drag it out. I bet they knew in the spring it wouldnt be a launch game (especially since it took a year of delays so the issues were major), but they didn't say anything till before launch.

The only things I remember hearing good about DC was that crazy rain weather and loud sounds. The UI was ugly, it was delayed, and everyone was saying the gameplay was bad as you got penalized in tight tracks for every bump you did.

However, Motorstorm games got solid reviews. Even their portable game did too I think. And everyone knew about Motorstorm games, so it's not lack or marketing or hype. The first MS game was hyped up with KZ2.

I think it's just due to gamers not caring for fast paced arcade racers. Old gens tons of gamers had to have at least one racing game to get impressed with visuals and speed. The 360/PS3 era had lots of racers, but seemed interest fizzled out for shooters and open world games. And more recently even worse. Even EA ditched their annual NFS game because sales arent where they are even though the number of arcade racers are few. You'd think they'd stick with it to hoard sales, but gamers interest is still thin.

It's like sports games. There used to be lots of over the top sports games. Now it's basically EA Sports and a handful of Konami and 2k games to round it out. And these remaining games trend to sim. Ya, it can be arcadey as you tweak it, but it's still got all the real teams, players, GM options, salary cap etc.... They're no NBA Jam. Racers are similar. Gamers have trended to sim or arcade/sim games and seem to play racers with real cars. FH is different as it has real cars and open world. If FH games were arcadey circuit racers it would probably do bad.

The key outlier is Mario Kart which does great forever. So it can work. But maybe only if over the top in a cartoony family orientated way.
 
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Lupin25

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+1. Sony loves to say they support studios by not being too hands on, but surely they shouldve seen that 2 hour game with 6 hours of cutscenes and walking during its 4 year dev cycle, no?

Alarm bells shouldve rung as soon as the directors went around calling the game filmic and saying that they dont care about gameplay. They were hired because of two absolutely incredible PSP GOW games, and the project shouldve focused on their strengths. Sony execs have sent so many devs to die with this hands off philosophy and then being extremely quick to pull the plug when it blows up in their face. They did this with Amy Henning and Justin Richmond, with Stig and SSM when the new IP didnt work out, with Evo after not forcing them or giving them the budget and time to do an open beta, and just gutting all online teams at their first party studios.

Now they are out buying unproven studios in masses because gaming is bigger than ever and their studios are woefully understaffed taking forever to make games. How Kaz, SSM, and GG took 4.5-5 years to make last gen sequels is beyond me. They are clearly understaffed. I refuse to believe these games were all in development hell.

I am shocked that Kojima hasnt been snatched up by either company. I get that he might want his independence, but at least give him a blank check for his next game. Why was he even shopping his next game around with Google stadia? I love how Andrew House picked him up two days after he got fired from Konami. AAA studios dont come often and it seems both Sony and MS have been behind the ball on staffing first party. MS is going to Crystal Dynamics begging for help. Hellblade 2 was revealed 2 years ago and still no gameplay? Sony is forcing Sony Bend to help make TLOU2, like wtf? Thats the kind of shit EA is doing with Criterion lol. Since when did these prestigoous first party publishers turn into EA and Activision?

P.S They also let Supermassive and Quantic Dream go. Those are the kind of studios that you help nurture and grow into more than just QTE studios. Similar to how they took a chance with Housemarque who fucking nailed their first traditional AAA game.

While I agree with the admission of Supermasive Games & Quantic Dreams, the rest ignores a lot residual ground.

Everything you’ve mentioned about cross-gen/next-gen games has completely disregarded “COVID-19”. You cannot mo-cap with leads and a team from home lol.

(Kratos’ voice actor Christopher Judge also explained his sad, but unfortunate part in GOW’s delay.)

You also cannot acquire studios who don’t wish to be bought. What Kojima’s doing is what is obvious:

Retain full creativity as an auteur without “objectivity” while being funded by the biggest publishers.

The decision to delay games and change the course of others was in response to the pandemic. There was no way to know impact it would have on chip shortages and subsequently, console unit sales of the PS5.
 
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Jibran#one

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Ms killed way too many studios aswell tbh , but the problem with drive club was it was a terrible game at launch , I'm pretty sure the online portion didn't worked for a year was negatively recieved by almost everyone.

Compare that trainwreck with horizon which is always a 90+ goat racing game which are amazing from the getgo
 
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skybaby

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It actually wasnt killed by MS. Activision bought Bizaare Creations, not long after PGR4 if i remember right. And i suppose MS is thinking is their room for another first party racer when they already have the Motorsport and Horizon series.

I would buy a new PGR by the way.
I think Activision tried selling bizarre off and it was rumored MS was interested in a new PGR. I know in the end they wouldn't have supported 3 racing titles.
 

CamHostage

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I think it's just due to gamers not caring for fast paced arcade racers. Old gens tons of gamers had to have at least one racing game to get impressed with visuals and speed. The 360/PS3 era had lots of racers, but seemed interest fizzled out for shooters and open world games. And more recently even worse. Even EA ditched their annual NFS game because sales arent where they are even though the number of arcade racers are few. You'd think they'd stick with it to hoard sales, but gamers interest is still thin... Gamers have trended to sim or arcade/sim games and seem to play racers with real cars. FH is different as it has real cars and open world. If FH games were arcadey circuit racers it would probably do bad.

I mean, yes... until, no.

Forza Horizon 5 is smashing the commonly-held previous narrative that nobody cares for racing games anymore, and there are some interesting points of discussion as to why (I said this earlier, but one is that the timing was just perfect of the late announcement and the release just before gamers go nuclear over everything coming out in the next two months,) but the bottom line is that this is the game that everybody wants to be playing right now, and it's a racing game. An open-world racing game like The Club 1&2. An arcade'ish racing game like some of the recent Need for Speeds. A real car racing game like Project Cars. A game without power-ups or gimmicks like every other game that wasn't Mario Kart and didn't sell 39 Million copies.

So, was everybody else wrong? (And were all of the failures of other racing game developers just not right on the button the way FH5 is hitting?) Does MS and Playground Games have some magic trick to getting gamer to buy this franchise? Is this a matter of Xbox gamers determined to give their long-held attention to a next-gen-quality exclusive of their own? (...And, they don't like to fly?) Was this just spot-on timing to deliver the type of game gamers want to play right now?

Something about Forza Horizon 5 is calling into question everything that everybody understands about the racing genre from all of last gen (a gen that led to the death of Evolution Studios, saw Ghost Games arrive almost stillbirth in four NFSs before closing, and saw Slightly Mad Studios lose everything in trying to get away from its previous realm of success, amongst other casualties in racing gaming.) Is this game the new answer, or is it the outlier?


(There's not a great "Racers of 2022" video out yet that doesn't have shouting,
but a lot of the games on this clip aren't out despite its age

and it's a good cross section to help ask, Is racing back?)
 
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