Forza Motorsport 7 has been out for roughly a week now. The game has been getting pretty great review scores; I myself gave it an 8.5/10 on PC. That right there is the whole basis of this article: this game is available on two platforms – Xbox One and PC. With that said, I find it very strange that some folks are jumping to the conclusion that the game’s lower launch sales in the UK compared to its predecessor are indicative of franchise fatigue.
The Forza franchise was first introduced 12 years ago. Within that timeframe, there have been 10 releases. The last seven of those releases have been rather special, since they’ve come out annually since 2011. But things got even more special last year when Forza Horizon 3 became the first game to release on not just an Xbox console, but also Windows.
Up until Horizon 3, Microsoft has kept the Forza franchise exclusively on the Xbox lineage of systems, starting with the OG console back in 2005. The PlayStation exclusive Gran Turismo franchise has been in existence for about 20 years, dating all the way back to the PS1. Seeing that this franchise is so large, it’s no wonder why Microsoft also wanted an exclusive racing simulator of its own.
But, what makes Microsoft’s situation unique is that instead of just having one of its own platforms, it actually has two: Xbox and Windows. What feels like ages ago at this point, Microsoft did actually put quite a lot of effort into boosting the gaming market on Windows with ‘first-party’ releases from various studios. After the original Xbox came onto the scene, Microsoft then mostly shifted its gaming focus to the console real. This left the gaming scene on Windows to be grown by other companies (hi, Valve). Now, all of a sudden, it seems like Microsoft has remembered that PC gaming is actually really popular.
News flash, folks. Forza is now a multi-platform release.
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex was released to Windows 10 PCs back in 2016 as a free-to-play title. It was essentially a cut-down version of the real Motorsport 6, but it served as a way for Turn 10 Studios to ‘test the waters’ in the PC realm, so to speak. After that, Forza Horizon 3 was released a few months later as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, allowing users to enjoy the full game on either both Xbox One and Windows 10, or just one or the other. This essentially gave new life to the Forza franchise.
People who have been sticking mostly if not entirely to PC over the years, or who just haven’t owned an Xbox console at all (like me), can now enjoy games from the Forza series. This has given the franchise a chance to reach a whole new audience of players, thus increasing its chances to sell well. While the franchise has been around for 12 years, newcomers from the PC realm can essentially view it as a relatively new, two year old franchise. That’s why I find it rather strange that people are knocking the game for debuting at a lower level than Forza Motorsport 6 did. Not only is that ranking on just one chart from one region, it’s also a chart that only takes into account physical sales. It should be a secret to no one that the digital realm of gaming is growing rather quickly, especially on PC. With Forza Motorsport 7’s Xbox Play Anywhere functionality only being accessible via a digital copy of the game, it’s only logical to conclude that the game actually has the chance to outperform its predecessor when digital sales are added into the mix.
For those of you who want to compare Motorsport 7’s sales to that of the upcoming GT Sport for PS4, I must say that GT Sport does have the chance to be the better-selling game, but only from a console perspective. The PS4 has a higher install base than the Xbox One, but GT Sport obviously won’t have the benefit of also coming to PC. With that being the case, trying to compare the two games sales-wise is almost nonsensical because they’re dealing with two different sets of circumstances.
The comparisons between the two are inevitable, but keep in mind that the circumstances are now different.
In any case, jumping to conclusions this early into Motorsport 7’s life makes no sense either way. It’s literally only been out for a few days at this point. Why not give it time to actually grow? Why not wait for sales data from other regions and also digital sales to be calculated? If you want try and look for a way to knock the game that badly (minus the microtransaction scandal), at least have enough patience for circumstances to fall properly into place so that you can build a solid argument. Like in a real race, a false start will only get you nowhere.