Forza Horizon being removed from Xbox Store in October

You've had several years to experience Forza Horizon, so this is your last chance to pick it up before Microsoft pulls its plug.


Forza Horizon 3 has been available over the weekend to those who purchased the Ultimate Edition, with its official launch taking place this week. If for some reason you’re considering purchasing the original Forza Horizon, you better do it soon as Microsoft is planning on pulling it from the Xbox Store starting in October.

Starting on October 20, the original Forza Horizon and all of its downloadable content will no longer be available for purchase. The reason for this is due to it reaching its “End of Life” cycle. Fortunately, those who already own Forza Horizon prior to October 20 will be able to download and play the game, as well as its downloadable content, as they normally would.

With the release of Forza Horizon 3 coming tomorrow, we can’t imagine why anyone would want to purchase the original Forza Horizon on Xbox 360 considering how much content its latest version offers. But if you still haven’t purchased the game and have been wanting to check it out, you have just a few weeks to do so.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 26, 2016 7:03 AM

    Daniel Perez posted a new article, Forza Horizon being removed from Xbox Store in October

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      September 26, 2016 7:05 AM

      Ah, the digital future is grand

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      September 26, 2016 7:44 AM

      That's pretty gross. I'm guessing they are hoping for a bunch of impulse buys now that it's going away.

      This normally wouldn't bug me since there will still be physical copies, but they are also getting rid of the DLC....

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        September 26, 2016 7:48 AM

        If you already have it, you will always be able to download it.

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          September 26, 2016 8:35 AM

          Yes, that was explained. The problem is that if you don't already own it and they pull it, you now have no way of getting that extra DLC even if you are still able to purchase a physical copy.

          And that, of course, leads to a future discussion about when everything is digital-only and they effectively can stop new users from buying a game at all if they deem it "end of life"

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            September 26, 2016 9:36 AM

            Comparing this to physical copies is the wrong way to go. Stores pull games from shelves all the time and publishers don't make physical copies of games forever. There has been a limit on the ability of new users to buy games as long as games have existed.

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              September 26, 2016 9:53 AM

              Right, but people could still buy them. I can go buy a copy of River City Ransom right now and play it in my nes, but in an all digital future, that won't be possible. This already notably happened with the original Xbox when MS shut down that side of XBL, although the one that most directly affected me was when Woomb shut down, removing the possibility of playing a number of English MSX games entirely.

              This is similar to when Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and its DLC got pulled (or even just the DLC for the first game) , although I don't see Horizon enjoying the same price spike as a result.

              These licensing issues are fucking bullshit and we should be past this crap by now.

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                September 26, 2016 10:25 AM

                Sure you can go eBay something if you really want it but odds are your local store isn't going to have a copy. Not to mention if a physical game is even remotely collectible it will be crazy expensive making it essentially unavailable for purchase.

                Don't get me wrong there are tradeoffs for digital content. I don't think I'm at the point where I want to require any company that sells something online to sell that item forever no matter what. Just because something is digital doesn't mean that company is required to sell that and support it forever.

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                  September 26, 2016 11:51 AM

                  That's one of the reasons I love what Limited Run Games is doing. Physical releases of digital-only console/handheld games.

                  One of my recurring nightmares is getting locked out of my PSN and Steam accounts, especially with the level of support both companies provide for each service.

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        September 26, 2016 8:06 AM

        Why is it gross? New people can't buy it. That's all this does

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          September 26, 2016 8:35 AM

          I don't have much to say if you don't understand why that is bad.

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            September 26, 2016 9:29 AM

            It's an extremely old game that no one wants any more. You act as if this I the first old game they stopped selling. This has been going on for a long, long time. Now if it removed access for those who already purchased it, that would be gross.

            Stopping the sales of a game that was probably selling close to 0 copies each month isn't something I consider getting up in arms about.

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              September 26, 2016 12:13 PM


              One of the goals of a digital distribution future was theoretically perpetual availability.

              When you have to manufacture a game, put physical copies on shelves, etc. then yeah it makes sense to stop printing copies of a game if it sells close to zero copies a month.

              Digital distribution removes that. The installer files for this game are sitting in a folder on a server somewhere. They could theoretically sell it forever. Instead they're acting as if some virtual shelf is getting crowded.

              The reality is that they likely don't want you buying a cheaper older game anymore now that they're trying to push the more recent and expensive one.

              If you think old games aren't worth keeping in circulation then yeah I don't think any of us can convince you otherwise.

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                September 26, 2016 12:17 PM

                In this case it's a licensing thing, so, what do you expect?

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                  September 26, 2016 1:50 PM

                  I concede the point that licensing ruined it this time.

                  I just hope we don't too often wind up in a WKRP on DVD situation where things can't be preserved legally due to licensing like this.

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        September 26, 2016 10:01 AM

        does anybody even play that game anymore? and if you haven't already bought the DLC for that old ass game you aren't going to just face it

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        September 26, 2016 10:04 AM

        They just gave it away for xbl subscribers

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      September 26, 2016 7:53 AM

      They gave the game away for free as part of Games with Gold a few weeks ago.

      I've been playing it almost every day since, and while I really enjoy it, it appears that they stopped supporting it fully some time ago. None of the online features seem to work (at least on xbox one) and there are a few bugs that make the game unplayable under certain conditions. For a while it seemed that the game would get hung up trying to connect to XBL servers and the framerate would drop to ~5fps and to top it off, the HUD would start blinking on and off.

      It wouldn't surprise me that they're shutting this 5 year old game off because they simply aren't going to invest resources in it to keep it playable going forward, and it's probably to the benefit of any potential new customers.

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        September 26, 2016 8:04 AM

        i had a few moments of extreme lag, but other than that i was fine. I just finished all the races saturday night

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          September 26, 2016 11:35 AM

          The game was in rough shape when they first gave it away via XBL. Regularly became unplayable. Restarting the xbox one would fix it, but often the issue would come back in 10 minutes or so of play.

          Recently though, say the past 10 days, the issue has all but disappeared for me.

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            September 26, 2016 12:03 PM

            ive been playing it since it came out for free on xb1, performance hasnt changed for me

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      September 26, 2016 8:38 AM

      Bugs in backwards compatibility causing complaints?

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        September 26, 2016 8:43 AM

        Is the noteworthy angle here they want people buying Horizon 3? If that was true why offer it for free during H3's launch cycle?

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        September 26, 2016 8:44 AM

        I think music/car licensing might be the reason.

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          September 26, 2016 8:56 AM


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          September 26, 2016 11:36 AM


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          September 26, 2016 12:16 PM

          Ok, that makes sense. I can accept that as an answer although it does point out one of the flaws in digital only goods.

          Another example: if you have the disc-based version of Plants Vs. Zombies from before they had to remove the Michael Jackson parody you can always fire up that copy (depending on if there's activation involved). But if you have it on Steam then it's Disco Stu for you.

          Games preservation is just going to get more difficult/impossible from here on out.

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        September 26, 2016 8:47 AM

        no it runs fine tried it last week.. honestly though it just wasn't as good as FH2 or 3. I completely forgot the game had no car tuning.

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      September 26, 2016 8:45 AM

      Why does anyone care? Go buy Forza Horizon 2 or 3. Sheesh.

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        September 26, 2016 8:48 AM

        I don't give a crap about Forza or racing games in general, but it irks me that this is what digital was supposed to help alleviate; older titles no longer being physically available as they've been long out of print. Digital should, in theory, last forever. It would cost them nothing to keep it available for purchase forever, but they arbitrarily choose to de-list it presumably in the interest of pushing more people to the newer, more expensive versions.

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        September 26, 2016 9:39 AM

        I actually think 1 is a better game than 2. I haven't played 3, yet.

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        September 26, 2016 10:01 AM

        Damn Daddy Warbucks.

        Really though, the issue is less about this specific game and more about permanently locking people out of chunks of the game (like MUA 1 and 2). It's a shitty anti consumer thing to do, particularly when there's no physical alternative (like MUA Gold).

        It's just the first step of them shutting down the 360 side of XBL, just like they did to the Xbox. The only people not affected? The pirates, of course.

        It's reasons like this I always try to buy the versions with DLC on the disc, even if it means having to import (like the UK PS3 Prepare to Die Edition of Dark Souls)

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          September 26, 2016 10:03 AM

          haha I just don't get why there's such an uproar in a game with damn-near annual installments. That's all.

          That is a good point though -- I'm still mad that Burnout Paradise never got all the DLC on PC. :/

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            September 26, 2016 1:34 PM

            It's a different world with different roads and all that. If it was the Forza Motorsport series then what you are saying makes more sense as the tracks and everything about the experience is mostly the same except the newer versions have better visuals and other upgrades. The differences are relatively minor. In Horizon the open world is as different as the cities in a GTA, and like GTA some people prefer the older games and locations.

            I don't know what the big deal is because people who own the game digitally will still be able to download and play it, same with those with the disc. And they recently gave it out for free and are giving warning that the digital version is leaving the store. Way better than games that just disappear without warning because of licensing issues and contracts expiring.

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        September 26, 2016 1:51 PM

        It's actually about ethics in digital game publishing

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          September 26, 2016 1:57 PM

          What's the issue, though? It's really not much different from a game going out of print or no longer available on store shelves.

          The people who own the game digitally will still be able to download and play it, they're only removing the ability to purchase it new online. If they were removing it from everyone's account and making it impossible to play, then that would be completely different. It sounds like some people assume that's what's happening here?

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            September 26, 2016 2:50 PM

            I don't care about this specific game, but say it's a really cool game like Shadow of the Colossus. If that were only available digitally, and some person bought a used PS3 20 years in the future and wanted to play it, they would have no way to do so, since it's no longer available for sale. So it's really about preserving games indefinitely into the future. Digital distribution models may make this impossible.

            For perspective, I'm still discovering new games on the SNES to play. There are multiple ways to play them, thankfully, but emulation and hacking may not be viable for these more complex systems in the future. For example, Sega Saturn emulation is still in a pretty poor state.

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              September 26, 2016 3:14 PM

              Yeah, I get that. Still a completely different conversation than what these specific games provoke as neither Forza Horizon or Shadow of the Colossus were digital only. You can get hypothetical with the worst outcome in any scenario but it really has no bearing on what is actually happening here.

              Plus 20 years from now you'll probably be lucky just to find a working PS3 with all the blu-ray drive failures that thing had!

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                September 26, 2016 4:03 PM

                The slim PS3's work great, and most will still be working when we're dead. So their ability to play all PS3 games is important. At least it's important to those of us who want to preserve video game history.

                So the fact that games will be unplayable on a majority of systems (systems that did not purchase and download before servers shut down) is a major issue moving forward. Even current games on physical media will eventually be a problem, because they almost always require extensive patching after launch to arrive at their full potential.

                So really, pirates and hackers are doing the most good in this space, though as encryption gets more advanced, even they may not be able to jailbreak systems moving forward.

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            September 26, 2016 4:11 PM

            I agree. This sort of thing happens all the time. People thinking that digital distribution was about keeping things available to for eternity are being very naive.

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              September 26, 2016 4:16 PM

              Nobody ever said that, it is precisely the reason we're wary of digital distribution. Good games are always worth playing, whether it's 1988, 2008, or 2028.

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                September 26, 2016 5:22 PM

                Schnapple said so in this very thread.

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                  September 26, 2016 5:49 PM

                  Ok, yeah, I see where he's coming from. I see that more in the theoretical realm, in that optical media and (much later) ROM chips eventually break down. But the tightly controlled digital distribution we see on PSN and XBL mean that future availability to play the titles is entirely reliant on the Sony and Microsoft, since no second-hand market exists for digital goods.

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      September 26, 2016 3:19 PM

      Oh the digital future. I do not welcome thee.

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        September 26, 2016 3:39 PM

        You do not welcome timed licensing. This probably has nothing to do with digital distribution.

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          September 26, 2016 5:14 PM

          Incorrect. Luckily, there will still be physical copies available for this particular title so it can still be played, even if it's expensive or hard to find.

          In the future, we might not be so lucky.

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            September 26, 2016 6:01 PM

            it's pretty likely that there will never be another disc pressing of the game, ie: physical distrubution will never create more copies. existing copies will be sold because they were created under the initial license.

            this really isn't about digital distrubution at all. if MS had a physical-copy-on-demand (i've seen movie studios that do this with movies), it would likely also be stopped as well.

            nothing should be preventing you from using a physical copy that was already created, or from using a digital copy that was already purchased

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      September 26, 2016 5:10 PM

      Would there be as much herpderp if it was fifa 13 or madden 14?

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      September 26, 2016 5:54 PM

      Maybe we can get the LTSB of Horizon 1 via Software Assurance!

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