Forza, Xbox

Forza races past $1bn in retail sales, Xbox reveals

Forza, the car racing franchise, has racked up more than $1 billion in retail sales, Xbox has announced.

Microsoft Studios launched the first title in the popular gaming series in 2005 and released the latest, Forza Horizon 3, last September.

It is the fifth Microsoft franchise to surpass the $1 billion sales mark, joining Age of Empires, Halo, Gears of War and Minecraft. The Halo franchise has passed $5 billion in worldwide sales.

“Since the beginning, Forza has combined stunning graphics, racing’s leading simulation engine and an emphasis on fun and accessibility,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “With the Forza series, [developer] Turn 10 Studios has built the world’s largest racing community. We couldn’t be more proud of their success.”

The latest titles in the Forza Motorsport series, developed by Turn 10, allowed players to race a range of cars around closed circuts against other players, but also against vehicles controlled by the “Drivatar” artificial intelligence system.

Forza Horizon, developed by Playground Games, is an open-world series that allows gamers to drive on roads and cross-country, completing tasks and races.

All nine Forza titles have proved popular with gamers, with more than 14 million people involved in the internet-based Forza community on Xbox One and Windows; while over three million players race online every month.

With Forza Horizon 3 selling 2.5 million copies, as of December, Forza has established itself as the best-selling racing franchise of the current console generation, according to The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service.

The third instalment of the Horizon series took realism to a whole new level, with the developers camping out in the Australian Outback for three months to film the sky. This means that the sky players see in the game is the real-life sky the developers captured on their £100,000 12K High Dynamic Range (HDR) camera rig.