For the Players, that’s what the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer keeps repeating at every chance he can get, and in our opinion, that makes all the difference. The new Xbox juggernaut Forza Horizon 5 has been the target of universal acclaim since days before its launch, and why wouldn’t it be, the game is awesome. However, there are many factors at work that led to shaping it into one of the best new-gen experiences, and some of them have been years in the making, all for this one moment.
We've invested for years in Xbox so more people can play. With 4.5+ million players so far across PC, cloud & console, Forza Horizon 5 shows that promise coming to life. Largest launch day for XGS game, peak concurrent 3x FH4 high. Thank you players & congrats to @WeArePlayground— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 10, 2021
Xbox has been working behind the scenes for many years in order to enable players to play their games. That’s the most important part of how the new gaming industry should be. It’s not practical to make new games without your players being able to actually try them. Crafting the relationship between developers and players should be the first priority of any gaming studio, and Xbox has been doing just that by making sure that their games can reach players on every platform, console, and even handheld device through the XCloud service.
It’s all about the players. The promise Phil Spencer talks about is not about setting up false expectations and promising that Forza will set the standards for gaming, he is instead of letting us decide for ourselves whether his words ring true or not, by actually holding the controller in our hands, and playing at the same time as everyone else around the world. Unlike trailers, real interaction with games can make a world of difference as we explained before.
Many games do not live up to the hype after their release, while many obscure games get the exposure just because players are talking about them. The word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool that can decide the fate of a game, even after years of its release, more even than review scores and commercial propaganda, and this can only be achieved by the practices of Xbox Studios that allow the player to always be at the center of everything.
That’s why Forza Horizon 5 is a great success, not just for Microsoft, but also for the players. It makes their voices heard, and their numbers are what’s indicative of the game’s worth. It’s something I hope to witness going forward, an equal chance to form my opinion on any game without reservations, and even provide my own feedback on the process of creating games through Xbox Insiders and other playtest programs.
What I want to say is, Forza was already a success, and this comes as no surprise at all, it has been the effort of many years of hard work and careful planning/choices that puts the players as a priority above everything, and it worked wonders for everyone involved. The game is already a work of art thanks to the wonderful efforts of Playground Games Studio, but it’s not just that, thanks to Xbox’s wonderful ecosystem that allowed everyone to see that work of art for what it really is.