After September 15th, 2021, Forza Motorsport 7 will no longer be available to buy from the Microsoft Store or play on Xbox Game Pass because it has reached “end of life” status. The game will not be fully removed from the market; those who already possess it will be able to download and play it, and multiplayer will remain available; however, those who do not own the game will not be able to purchase the digital version. This is happening, according to the Forza Twitter account, since the game’s licenses to use real-world cars and tracks are about to expire.
If you’re a long-time Forza fan, you’ve probably seen something similar before. Historically, games in the series have been delisted four years after their initial release. Horizon 3 was withdrawn from Microsoft’s online shop in September 2020, after it was released in September 2016, and Motorsport 6 was deleted in September 2019, after it was released in September 2015.
There’s also the Xbox Game Pass problem with Motorsport 7. After September 15th, the game will no longer be available on the service, which raises an interesting question: what about those who didn’t buy the game but purchased DLC to play with the Game Pass version? According to Forza, everyone in this position will be given a “token” that will allow them to continue playing the game. Players will receive the token by August 2nd, and it must be redeemed by September 15th, 2023.
When the Forza Twitter account announced that the titles would be delisted due to license expiration, users were quick to point out that other racing games don’t appear to have the same problem. Need For Speed Rivals, for example, was released in 2013 and is presently available for purchase on the Microsoft Store. The Verge contacted EA to inquire about how it licenses automobiles for its games, but did not receive a response right away.
The Forza approach is intriguing: the games are plainly well-made, and they’re frequently held up as an example of how wonderful racing games can look. After around four years, they become much more difficult to obtain. One of my coworkers was saddened by the loss of Horizon 3, which he considers to be the series’ best game. I’ve never played it and am curious as to what makes it so amazing, but I can’t find it (used physical copies are available, but not for PC, and I don’t own an Xbox).
This isn’t meant to be a smear campaign against the Forza team. When individuals or businesses are involved, turning the actual world into a playable form may be messy, as EA Sports and the NCAA have demonstrated. Furthermore, hyper and supercar manufacturers, such as those depicted in Forza, might be fiercely protective of their brand. Ferrari famously issued a stop and desist letter to singer Deadmau5 for modifying his automobile. It’s just interesting that Forza handles licensing in this manner for whatever reason.
While it’s terrible that Forza Motorsport 7 is being removed from Microsoft’s virtual stores, there is a silver lining: the game’s Standard, Deluxe, and Ultimate editions are all 75 percent discount, retailing for $9.99, $14.99, and $19.99, respectively, if you want to purchase it before it’s gone. They’ll be on sale until September 15th, according to Forza’s support article, and the game will still be playable after it’s no longer available for purchase.