It’s an exciting time for Forza Motorsport, as Microsoft’s sim racing franchise is gearing up for a reboot and its first installment on the Xbox Series X and S generation of consoles. While there’s no indication as of yet that we’ll see the game released in 2021, developer Turn 10 Studios revealed Wednesday that it will soon be offering up a “part” of the upcoming project to play testers in its Forza panel.
To check it out for yourself, you’ll have to sign up for the Turn 10 Feedback Panel. Registration is quick, and can be done in a couple of minutes using this basic survey, though it’s unclear when invitations will go out. The official Forza Motorsport Twitter originally said participants had already begun to receive invites, though it later clarified that hadn’t actually happened yet, and players would get their chance “soon.”
Turn 10 Creative Director Chris Esaki revealed the initiative during a Forza Monthly stream. Esaki says Turn 10 has been operating weekly play tests within Xbox Game Studios, but now feels the time is right to expand that to the community:
“The new news is today we will soon be able to share to our people in our Forza panel. They will actually be able to get their hands on a part of our new Forza Motorsport game. So if you’re part of the Forza panel — highly recommend if you’re not already in the Forza panel — the only way to get your hands on this part of the new Forza Motorsport title is to be part of that panel.
“We’re going to continue to plan this type of testing as we go in the months ahead and get more and more people from the community in and enjoying this experience. So once again, get on those Forza panels and you’ll actually be able to check out the new, or part of the new, Forza Motorsport.”
Esaki says Turn 10's development approach with this forthcoming entry is unlike anything the team has done before. It’s not outwardly clear why just yet; of course, we’ve only seen a brief in-engine trailer of the title thus far that dates back to last summer.
Around that same time, Dan Greenawalt, the lead creative force behind the franchise, published a blog primarily talking up the upcoming game’s technical chops, including its support for ray tracing — though he didn’t tell us anything specific about the gameplay structure.
Judging by the focus on team branding and garage action in the teaser footage, Turn 10 seems to be targeting a more authentic motorsport experience this time around. It could deviate from the standard “car-PG” direction of Forzas past, and of course mainline Gran Turismo games.
Even the game’s name is unconfirmed at the moment. Esaki refers to it as the “new Forza Motorsport,” keeping in line with the simplified title and new logo shown in the trailer. If this truly is the reboot of Microsoft’s sim racing franchise many fans suspect it is, a non-numbered entry would convey that renewed ambition. Thanks to this testing program, it seems we’ll all get a better idea of what precisely Turn 10 is planning sooner rather than later.