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EA refuses Forza 4 use of Porsche license

Fri 26 Aug 2011 9:49am GMT / 5:49am EDT / 2:49am PDT
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"EA couldn't see their way towards collaborating again," says Turn 10 Studios

EA has chosen not to allows developer Turn 10 Studios to feature the Porsche range of cars in its upcoming title, Forza Motorsport 4.

EA owns the exclusive rights to feature Porsche vehicles in its games, but in the past has reached agreements with the Forza franchise through sub-licensing deals.

Writing on the official Forza Motorsport blog community manager Brian Ekberg explained that was not the case this time.

"EA couldn't see their way towards collaborating again," he said, addressing fans of the series.

"We've asked our contacts at EA to reconsider their position frequently and regularly over the last 18 months. We also reached out to various influential people in gaming to lobby on our behalf, and on your behalf, but that was to no avail."

He also wrote that Turn 10 had approached "key people in Porsche circles," who also campaigned on its behalf.

The Forza franchise currently has the exclusive license for Ferrari vehicles on Xbox and PC.

"We've always found that we just weren't willing to block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem."

Turn 10 is a Microsoft studio based in Washington, and develops the Forza Motorsport series for Xbox, starting with the original title in 2005.

24 Comments

Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus

459 738 1.6
I see EA's back to their mid-00s selves again. Stonewalling exclusive licenses, turning Origin into marketing spyware, pissing all over competitors just for the sake of it... it's so good to see you guys back to doing what you do best: being douchebags that make every single purchase of one of your games into an experience that requires a shower afterwards! I missed you guys, the way I would miss an abusive parent!

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

390 211 0.5
EA probably don't want to share the Porsche license again as they are pushing SHIFT as their competitor to Forza and GT franchises.
Unfortunate really as Forza is a great franchise and I'll be buying it regardless.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments

309 398 1.3
Presumably they could take a leaf from Polyphony's book, and use Rufs instead?

Posted:3 years ago

#3
As a gamer who likes a bit of Forza Motorsport (I still play FM3 from time to time) I really could'nt care less to be honest if Porsche cars were included or not, and most gamers I know who also play Forza don't care either, as everyone has their own favourite cars that they upgrade, tune and then apply a nifty paint job on followed by an awesome design.. Ive only ever used the Porsches when ive had too..

After all the bad mouthing that EA have done recently and now this it makes you wonder if EA is in the wrong hands, They promote social gaming but they themselves do not seem to be a very sociable company when it comes to gamers..

Posted:3 years ago

#4

David Bachowski VP Business Development, Babaroga

66 0 0.0
I'd like to hear EA's side of the story before making any rash judgements against them

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Ian Bell Head of Studio, Slightly Mad Studios

6 0 0.0
Indeed David.

Frankly this is so much hypocrisy from Microsoft I'm shocked. Suffice to say I suspect EA are doing no more than giving Microsoft a taste of their own medicine here. Being involved in the Shift franchise for EA, I'm aware of the hoops that EA had to jump through and the cost associated with getting a Ferrari sublicense from Microsoft (which they retain an exclusive on).

I suspect it's come back to bite them and they don't like it.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

gi biz ;,pgc.eu

341 51 0.1
Wooo go go EA!! XD
Nice public image, kids! :D If I was to buy games for Windows ever again, I'd know from whose games to steer away!

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
RUFs will be in Forza 4 and to be totally honest I doubt the majority of consumers will care all that much, as the difference is incidental and really in name only. However, you can't blame EA for protecting their licence, and there's probably more to it than their simply being difficult. Perhaps they've got a Porche game on the horizon, or maybe they're just trying to keep the brand exclusive to the NFS franchise from now on. There's nothing amoral about that if they've paid for the exclusive.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Kieren Bloomfield Software Engineer, EA Sports

96 87 0.9
@Pete personally I really enjoyed the challenge of keeping the Porsches going the right way with TC off, more so than with some of the other more stable cars :) RUF will be enough though. It's no big deal.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Shaun Pearson Artist

3 0 0.0
ah, so that's why there are no Porsche's in Gran Turismo. Shame. There are some looka-a-likes called Ruff, they look like 911's

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shaun Pearson on 26th August 2011 6:00pm

Posted:3 years ago

#10
David/Ian you may be right. It seems strange that the owners of the Porche license over the Ferrari one would start this.

I can imagine most gamers are more interested in racing with Ferraris, I know I am.

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
Whilst I can understand EA having the licence, I would have thought there was a danger here. Not having Porches may be annoying, but if in response EA can't use Ferrari, that would potentially be a bigger deal

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,156 1,219 1.1
If EA at least made something of that exclusive license. The way they play it, a Porsche in NFS is yet another fast car that does not stand out that much, if at all. Just a pretty shell for crazy arcade physics with none of the fascination bleeding from it.

If a car handles like a Porsche and the game can tell me why it handles different and how that is important for my enjoyment of the game, then I do not care if there is an official name slapped onto it. Call it a TrabantGT for all I care.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Ian Bell Head of Studio, Slightly Mad Studios

6 0 0.0
Check out the last two racing games from EA (Shift 2 and Hot Pursuit) and count the number of Ferrari's in there.

(It's none BTW)

Microsoft are making the noise but the reality is something else.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,194 1,170 0.5
^+10 Klaus.

Me, I'm STILL waiting for a racing game that features noting but early to mid-1900's racers that's actually good (and uses today's tech). I know today's crowd wouldn't buy it, but hell, I love the beginnings of auto racing a lot more than the ad-heavy ego fest most of it is. It would be nice to see that niche be filled at some point (and I don't mean another Spirit of Speed... ugh)..

Posted:3 years ago

#15
When collaboration would work so much better, you have studios stone walling for the sake of it. No one buys these games to drive a specific car.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Jason Sartor Copy editor/Videographer, Florida Today

104 33 0.3
Tony,

I disagree. We buy racing games specifically to drive the super cars. Forza not having Porsche is a loss. Just as NFS: Hot Pursuit not having the Ferrari Enzo or 599 was a loss. Ferraris and Lambos taking each other down is how it should work.

The same way 2K has the MLB license and EA has the NFL license. As a sports fan, I like seeing the best team/competitor/game win. I would much prefer to see the exclusive deals die and let the best game each year win.

The fact is, in the past 15 years, the competition has made the games better. 989 pushing EA, NFL 2K pushing EA, and, hopefully, EA will push back against NBA2K.

Battlefield 3 and CoD are both good for consumers. Thankfully, you can't get an exclusive license on scenarios.


Posted:3 years ago

#17

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,156 1,219 1.1
If we buy action racing fests, such as Burnout or Ridge Racer, then branded cars play no role at all. NFS might sell more copies than Burnout, but on the virtue of being NFS, not having a Porsche.

If we buy simulations, then they are cluttered with more car brands than a regular person can effectively play in a game's lifetime. Towering at the top is certainly no Porsche either, but rather some crazy designer car, or F1 racer. Why bother about an inferior model, if better cars win the race every single time? These simulations have also become so degenerated that a pardoy 8 bit de-make of GT5 would just look like a blue line turning red if you pushed forward on the joystick for too long.

Brand exclusive games (Ferrari) did not do too well either, either we were simply dumber in the 90ies, or developers have lost the formula to engage people and sell them on the idea of "doing one brand right" the way NFS Porsche did. Then again, that game broke no sales records either.

The whole party game cart-racing part of the racing genre seems to work better with licensing the right gaming brands instead of real world car brands. People in Mod-Racers seemed more into copying characters from game IPs than real car models (not that they didn't do the latter, just not as much).

My personal favorite: Wipeout. The gameplay, the soundscape, the look, the enemies cheat just the right amount. That is a racing game sucking you into the screen and its fiction. *looks over to NFS, imagines headline* "Game about cars tries selling story about poor prick".

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Javier Garcia Tech Support

2 0 0.0
BETTER YET LET'S BOICOT EA RACING GAME! TO SEE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THAT!

Posted:3 years ago

#19

Shaun Pearson Artist

3 0 0.0
I'll never forget the moment, jumping behind the wheel of the Outrun arcade game, during Shenmue, only to be hit between the eyes by the *new* car, and thinking WTF!?

/they re-pixeled the Ferreri to make it look like something else. Imagine an horizontal cut n'shunt. The bottomer half looks like Ferrari Testarosa, and the top half looks like some American car. Surely that's more offensive to Ferrari, than simply leaving the car in tact. Video games + car liecences, Rolls-eyes

Posted:3 years ago

#20

Bruno BrÝsted Incident Manager

22 0 0.0
I can't feel bad for Turn 10 because it's not like they protest the system when they are enjoying the advantage. It's just karma :-)

Ultimately I'd like all cars to be freely available thus making it up to the game makers what to include but I get some car makers will make exclusive deals and/or have some strict requirements with what they will be part of. Take the Ferrari cars on GT5 where it's clear they are only in there with some strict restrictions.

PS. RUF's are really cool.

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

833 668 0.8
EA being nice, as always.

Posted:3 years ago

#22
It's not a complete loss but I really wanted to at least have the Porsche Carrera GT. I'm really hating EA right now. They are really playing the ass these days. This along with their will to kill COD like that could ever happen.

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Bill Rountree Studying Games Design and Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee

5 0 0.0
Out of the several hundred cars that Forza will no doubt have, a few missing Porches wont stop me buying the fourth instalment, I skipped the third as I wasn't impressed with the demo, but from what I've seen so far ill most defiantly be getting this one, the fact a car has the official badge or sounds like its real life counterpart means nothing to me, as long as they nail the gameplay ill be a happy camper.

As for EA, ill wait for comment from them before I pass judgement, not looking promising so far though I have to admit .....

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bill Rountree on 30th August 2011 5:59pm

Posted:3 years ago

#24

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