The announcement of Forza Horizon sees Microsoft's driving series moving towards annual releases - and Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt says it's his ambition for Forza to be as big as both NASCAR and F1.
"To us, the exciting aspect of the news is what it's doing to us in terms of our aspiration and our vision," Greenawalt told Eurogamer at Microsoft's Spring Showcase. "Our vision is to make an impact, in car culture and in gaming culture. While we're happy with the success we've had, there are obviously still bigger gaming brands out there. When you look at car culture, there's F1 and there's NASCAR, and we're not having the impact that they are."
Details on what exactly Forza Horizon is are scarce, although speculation has it down as an open world racer. "I don't believe it's against the ethos of Forza to do a lot of different things," Greenawalt said of the prospect of a Forza game in the mold of Test Drive Unlimited.
"The biggest risk is finding a great partner that's passionate, innovative and quality driven. The last thing we want to do is go to an annual cadence and have the quality suffer - we want to go to an annual cadence and have the franchise get even better. They're making our game better, and we're making their game better."
Greenwalt stopped short of confirming annual Forza releases, citing production problems that have plagued previous games. "It'd be presumptuous to commit," he said. "The first Forza Motorsport slipped. We had to figure out who we were as a franchise and a team. Forza Motorsport 2 slipped - we had to learn a lot. Making games is hard, and our goal is to make strong innovative games."
Forza Horizon is in development at Playground Games, a studio formed of staff from across the UK racing development scene and headed up by Ralph Fulton and Gavin Raeburn, two former Codemasters employees responsible for the Dirt and Grid series.