The first installment of Under the Hood--a new series of features on FM.net meant to provide more information about Turn 10's next racing installment, Forza Motorsport 4--hit the internet yesterday. Along with the requisite information about improved career progression, racing modes and other features, creative director Dan Greenwalt revealed that Porsches won't be appearing in the series' fourth release.
According to Greenwalt, the absence of "more than 35 Porsche models" from Forza 4 is due to EA's unwillingness to sub-license the rights that would allow Turn 10 to include the cars in the Microsoft-published title. It's not a decision that Greenwalt is happy about, but getting Porsches into Forza 4 is a cause the studio championed for 18 months. He even claims that some "key people in Porsche circles" were lobbying to allow the inclusion of the vehicles.
"This kills me," Greenwalt noted. He continued:
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.
He even points out that Forza had the exclusive license for all Ferrari cars (for Xbox and PC) at one point, but came to the realization that they ultimately "weren't willing to block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem."
That said, the specifics of why an agreement couldn't be reached with EA weren't disclosed. Money can always get in the way of things, but it's possible that there are other reasons that EA wouldn't agree to sub-license the vehicle rights to Turn 10.
Greewalt closed the sad news with an apology to series fans:
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.
Forza Motorsport 4 will be available on Xbox 360 on October 11.