NEWS - Thursday, August 25, 2011

Forza 4 Blocked From Including Porsches by EA

Of all the cars that have been announced for Forza Motorsport 4 so far, none are Porsches. Even when the final list of cars emerges ahead of the game’s fall release, Porsche won’t be on it, thanks to Electronic Arts.
 Forza is developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft, but it’s EA -- through a licensing deal with Porsche -- that controls which games Porsche’s vehicles can and can’t appear in. Although they’ve worked out sub-licensing deals in the past, EA has suddenly decided in the past two years that it doesn’t want Forza to have Porsches this go around.
"This kills me. While Forza Motorsport 4 will feature RUF, it will not include Porsche cars," revealed Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt in an interview the official Forza website. "As many of you know, since the beginning of the Forza franchise, the Porsche license has been available only through a sub-licensing deal with EA. In Forza 3, we were able to feature more than 35 different Porsche models by offering to collaborate with EA. For Forza 4, we were looking forward to adding even more Porsche cars, and we were especially looking forward to featuring multiple Porsche experiences in our new Autovista mode. In the end, however, EA couldn’t see their way towards collaborating again."
RUF is the next best thing if you can’t have Porsche -- it’s a German manufacturer whose cars are built on the body of a Porsche. Nevertheless, car fanatics -- which probably account for a fair percentage of a sim like Forza’s audience -- will be upset to hear not a single Porsche will be included.
And it’s not as if their absence was for lack of trying on Turn 10’s part. EA simply wouldn’t play ball.
"We’ve asked our contacts at EA to reconsider their position frequently and regularly over the last 18 months," Greenawalt said. "We also reached out to various influential people in gaming to lobby on our behalf, and on your behalf, but that was to no avail.

"In our business, we stay friendly with all of the manufacturers and licensors necessary to deliver players rich and innovative automotive experiences. As you’d expect, this includes quite a few key people in Porsche circles. To make sure we tried everything, we consulted with these advocates and were happy to find they were already aware of the situation and lobbying from within on behalf of Forza 4--and, despite the result, we thank them for their efforts."
EA isn’t the only company around that has this sort of licensing arrangement -- Turn 10 itself has one for all Ferrari cars that covers Xbox and PC games. Greenawalt claimed they haven’t used this to "block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem."
"While we respect EA’s need to run their business as they see fit, we’ve regularly collaborated in the past and hope we can find our way back to that approach," he said.
"I’m very sorry for all of this. Fans shouldn’t have to think about any of this -- you should just be able to drive Porsches and Ferraris in the games you love. Porsche makes wonderful cars and I’m sorry that we won’t have them in Forza 4. As I mentioned earlier, we have added three RUF cars in Forza 4. RUF is a manufacturer in their own right, not simply an aftermarket mod shop -- they completely remanufacture and enhance the models that they start from, and the results are unique, incredibly fast, and the cars look great. Losing more than 35 Porsche models is a lost opportunity for Porsche fans (as well as a lost opportunity to make future Porsche fans), but I hope that Forza 4 players understand and enjoy the new makes and models that have taken their place."

It’s unclear exactly why EA suddenly decided to change its mind; it’s not as if it didn’t have racing games in the past that it could have tried to secure Porsche as an exclusive for. (Back in 2000, it did have a Need for Speed game, Porsche Unleashed, that was entirely dedicated to the manufacturer’s cars.)



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