Forza Motorsport 5’s unpopular microtransactions weren’t something Turn 10 was ordered to implement by its corporate overlord.
Since Forza 5 was one of a number of Microsoft-published Xbox One games like Killer Instinct and Ryse: Son of Rome to include microtransactions, Eurogamer asked Turn 10 Studios creative director Dan Greenawalt flat out if the platform holder had mandated their inclusion.
“Oh no. Honestly I think, unfortunately, people attribute too much communication to this organisation,” he replied.
“The truth is, at Turn 10 while I’m a Microsoft employee, we’re off-site and we have our own culture and work our product to have our own culture. We have our own process and all of that. For the most part, Microsoft sees it as we’re doing a good thing so keep it up, and so we’re left alone.”
Greenawalt pointed out that Forza 4 actually included microtransactions with its car token system, and players didn’t mind. Nevertheless, he has concerns about the knock-on effects.
“I worry – and I don’t know this – that we were in some cases the inspiration for some of this in other games,” he said.
“This is happening more and more in games, and I understand gamers being resistant, especially if they feel like they’re being short-sheeted. I think people are looking out for being short-sheeted, and they’re seeing conspiracy where there isn’t one. And that’s common in today’s age.
“We were definitely not mandated to include these – we were experimenting in Forza 4, we experimented a bit in Horizon and now we’re further experimenting in Forza 5. But we experiment a lot of things – and when we get them wrong we try to fix them.”
Throughout the interview, Greenawalt was adamant that Forza 5’s microtransactions represent an “accelerator”, not a “pay wall” as in free-to-play games – but acknowledged that users haven’t responded well, and Turn 10 will stick by its promise to fix Forza 5’s economy.
“My biggest hope is that we can win back the fans’ trust – we didn’t do this for any other reason besides getting people excited about cars and games, and whenever we work against that purpose we take that very seriously, because it’s not our intention, and we’re going to make changes as needed,” he said.