Dan Greenawalt has always been very confident in the quality of the Forza Motorsport franchise, and he’s always vocal about it when he takes the stage or is interviewed. He’s also seen as not very keen to speak with people that criticize the direction of the series, but this time around he did bravely (and a tad smugly maybe) respond to a very pointed interview by the founder of the IFCA (International Forza Club Association) AAR GTDon, posted on the association’s forums.
When asked if the Forza franchise risked to be the jack of all trades, and the master of none in the car simulation genre, his response was, as usual, very confident and assertive:
(laughing) Not at all. We see Forza as being the master of everything offered by any simulation car game available anywhere, whether on a console or PC. Forza stands alone in our opinion because it offers so much more at such a higher level than anything else out there.
Pressed on why the game didn’t follow the example of Gran Turismo 5 and iRacing with their heavy emphasis on racing simulation, he explained that the Forza franchise isn’t just about that:
That’s a rather odd question from my point of view, and here’s why. We really do feel that we’ve covered the bases not just with racing but all aspects of car culture. So, it’s very hard to compare our product to any of the others when they don’t rise to our same level of options and playability. It’s sort of like trying to compare apples to oranges I guess.
The interviewer didn’t give up, and listed many sim racing features missing from Forza games or only partially simulated (repairs on the aerodynamics, full pit stops, realistic tire wear and fuel consumption, functioning drag tree), but Greenawalt minimized their importance, taking the chance to mention the upcoming cloud-based features.
Fair points, but, but again, Forza (and Forza 5 in particular) offers so much more than these rather minor details and concerns from our niche brothers and sisters on the racing side of Forza life. We feel that the true source of Forza entertainment comes from its overall execution and the emotional connection derived from its unparalleled immersive content. I feel that any details that are allegedly missing are far outweighed by our cutting edge graphics and physics. But it’s not just these critical aspects; it’s also (in the case of FM5) the new power of the Cloud that places us on an entirely new plateau beyond anything anyone has out there. So, I think we can be forgiven if we don’t have every feature under the sun
He also had something (surprisingly) positive to say about Gran Turismo 5, revealing that being a fan of the Gran Turismo franchise prompted him to enter the business.
Oh, I think it is a very good game. I’m a fan of the series. It is why I got into this business.
Personally, I’d like to give a serious pat on the back to AAR GTDon for having the guts to ask some really though questions. I have to honestly admit that it’s hard to see this kind of candid criticism during an interview by the actual press. That said, Greenawalt stood his ground and responded in kind.
I’m sure some will have a few issues with the “master of everything” concept (I know I do, and I’m a fan of the Forza franchise myself), especially when we draw a comparison with extremely solid simulations like iRacing, but to each their own. All in all, i’d say the definition “fighting words” applies perfectly here, to both sides of the discussion. Which side are you on?