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Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X drops the numerical naming

It’s not Forza Motorsport 8

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Forza Motorsport is coming to Xbox Series X, Microsoft announced Thursday with a brief teaser trailer during its games showcase for the next-generation console. The game will also be available on Windows PC, and will be included in the Xbox Game Pass library at launch.

Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, introduced the Forza Motorsport trailer by saying that the game would offer native 4K resolution and ray tracing while running at a frame rate of 60 frames per second on Xbox Series X. The trailer did not give a release window for the game, which Spencer described as “early in development.”

None of that is a surprise per se, but the name of the game itself might be. Instead of continuing the 15-year-old simulation racing franchise’s numerical naming scheme with “Forza Motorsport 8,” Microsoft is dropping the number for this entry in the series. It’s just going to be called Forza Motorsport — the same as the Xbox game that kicked off the franchise back in 2005. Just like every other Forza Motorsport title, the new game is being developed by Microsoft-owned Turn 10 Studios.

It’s unclear at this point if this name change means that Turn 10 will never make another numbered Forza Motorsport sequel — if Microsoft is turning the subseries into a service game for the long term. Microsoft has already pivoted the larger Forza franchise away from a regular release schedule: Starting in 2011, the company alternated between Turn 10’s Forza Motorsport and Playground Games’ Forza Horizon on a yearly basis, but ended that practice with 2018’s Forza Horizon 4. The last Forza Motorsport title was 2017’s Forza Motorsport 7, and the next one has been in development for some time now.

In fact, Turn 10 previously suggested that its upcoming game would offer something unexpected. During a Forza-focused Mixer stream in December (starting around the 57:30 mark), Turn 10 creative director Chris Esaki said that the studio had recently conducted its first play test for the next Forza Motorsport title. He added, “The overall product and where we’re going with it is so vastly a different and amazing experience,” and mentioned a variety of under-the-hood changes such as dynamic track temperature and new models for tires, tire pressure, atmospheric pressure, and vehicle suspension.

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