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Turn 10: Forza 5 micro-transactions were our idea

Dan Greenawalt claims that Turn 10's intentions were misunderstood

Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt has claimed that Forza 5's controversial microtransactions were not an imperative handed down from Microsoft.

In a comprehensive interview with Eurogamer, Greenawalt responded to many of the concerns that have surfaced over Forza 5's use of in-game purchases. These free-to-play monetisation techniques are a common feature among the launch titles on Xbox One, but Greenawalt insisted that Turn 10 independently chose to use them.

"Honestly I think, unfortunately, people attribute too much communication to this organisation," he said. "For the most part, Microsoft sees it as we're doing a good thing so keep it up, and so we're left alone.

"I'd say the biggest inspiration is the way the world is going. This is happening more and more in games, and I understand gamers being resistant, especially if they feel like they're being short-sheeted. I think people are looking out for being short-sheeted, and they're seeing conspiracy where there isn't one. And that's common in today's age.

"It's not about making more money, it was actually about saving people's time when doing the grind"

"We were definitely not mandated to include these - we were experimenting in Forza 4, we experimented a bit in Horizon and now we're further experimenting in Forza 5. But we experiment a lot of things - and when we get them wrong we try to fix them."

Greenawalt was careful to not that, "perception is reality," and so Turn 10 is dedicated to patching Forza 5 to bring it in line with the community's expectations. However, Greenawalt also stated his belief that the studio's intentions have been fundamentally misunderstood. The single most divisive aspect of Forza 5's economy was the price of specific cars, which were as high as £30 in some cases, though all could be earned by playing the game in a conventional way.

"If you look at free-to-play games they usually have things called paywalls, where you're slowly wearing something down and the only way to get around it is to pay. That's not what we implemented in Forza 4 and that wasn't our goal in Forza 5 either. We don't have paywalls," he said.

"There's a small group of players that can't be bothered to do things and they have disposable income. They're the sim guys in a lot of cases. They don't want to do the career, and they don't value those aspects, and that's alright by me.

"It's not about making more money, it was actually about saving people's time when doing the grind. I can totally see how people are perceiving it, but that wasn't our thought process - we designed the tokens last, which isn't how you'd do it if you were making a free-to-play game... As a creative director, we were looking at it as basically giving people cheats, but if you want to put cheats in you have to pay for them, which puts a barrier in and makes it exclusive to those who want to pay for them."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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