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Forza Horizon 2 Dev Talks Microtransactions, VR and The Future of Racing Games

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With main competitor Driveclub spinning its wheels thanks to server problems and The Crew and Project CARS both delayed, Forza Horizon 2 has had a clear track toward the racing video game checkered flag.

So GameSpot has a lengthy interview with the Xbox One version developer Playground Games’ Creative Director Dan Greenawalt that already feels a bit like a victory lap. Although Greenawalt stuck closely to the script and was reluctant to divulge and future details, some interesting things were revealed just the same.

Turn 10 Studio’s Forza Motorsport 5 was criticized at launch for a microtransactions system that seemed unfairly waited against the player. Greenawalt said Forza Horizon 2, which launched with no microtransactions, has a player economy based on the hard lessons Turn 10 learned and passed on to Playground Games.

But that doesn’t mean there will never be microtransactions in Forza Horizon 2.

“Forza Horizon 2 was designed, tuned, and play-tested from the ground-up both on that knowledge and without Tokens. That said, Forza is known for its diverse audience and some players appreciate using Tokens as a way of gaining immediate access to content that may take many hours to acquire in the normal course of play. We will continue to monitor the game economy in Forza Horizon 2 to ensure it is balanced and fun, and we will consider offering Tokens as a matter of player choice in a future update,” Greenawalt said.

Greenawalt also said there are no current plans, at least not ones he wants to announce, for VR functionality or a PC version of Forza Horizon 2. When asked about the Xbox 360 version of the game, separately developed by Sumo Digital, he said that even though the Xbox 360 doesn’t have the technology to match some of the innovations in Forza Horizon 2 for the Xbox One, there are still so many gamers out there who haven’t moved on to the new console it made sense to do a last-gen version.

He also struck an optimistic note about the future of racing games, calling the current era a ‘miniature Renaissance” and saying there’s a lot more to¬† come.

“I believe we’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible in the genre. With Forza, there are big tent-pole innovations that we can hang our hats on–features like ‘instant online’ in Forza Horizon 2–that really feel fresh and new to players, regardless of how much racing game experience they have. But when you drill down for our experienced players, we’re able to satisfy their need for evolution with features like our ever-evolving physics and handling model, which has become more complex and sophisticated over time, in line with our ever-evolving understanding of vehicle dynamics, tire technology, and so on,” Greenawalt said.

Check out the full interview here.

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