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The Economy in FM5

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The economy in FM5 is something of a complicated subject to fully appreciate, largely due to the very responsive manner in which Turn 10 has treated it with respect to how the players have reacted to certain negative complications...

When the game was first released - and bear in mind that it was released as a Launch Title, and as such perhaps released a bit quicker and with slightly less dev time than Turn 10 might have liked -- the game economy appeared to be pretty mercenary, and there was genuine concern that it was set in stone.

The player reaction was, to say the least, not enthusiastic, largely for the following reasons:

1. The car prices were higher than expected.

2. Cars purchased as DLC and Car Pack DLC were not instantly added to the player garage, rather once added to the game the player still had to purchase the car(s) using either in-game credits or Tokens.

3. Since Tokens cost real-world money, when purchasing a DLC car with Tokens it was felt to be a particularly egregious sin because the player had already spent real-world money unlocking the car(s) in the first place.

4. The original terms of the VIP / Special Editions was that players would receive sufficient Tokens with that package to be able to purchase ANY car in the game, but when the game released there were Cars that cost more (in Tokens) than the players actually received.

5. Income from races - even with ALL of the Assists turned off - was much lower than anticipated and much lower than the players felt was right.

The effects of these issues was to foment significant dissatisfaction on behalf of the players, who not surprisingly were very vocal about how much they did not like it... The effect that this had was to cause Turn 10 to take a step back and re-examine the economy and then to gradually take steps to correct the perceived flaws in it -- actions that came as a welcome surprise to the player base.

The first round of changes that took place took the form of adjustments to the in-game prices for Cars, and an increase in the prize money that was obtained for racing.

The next round of changes were far more radical, and included altering the DLC car system so that any car(s) purchased were added directly to the player's garage instead of them having to purchase the car(s) that they had already paid real-world money for with in-game funds.

Themed Racing: Pass the Most Cars for Gold

The Question of Tracks

Another significant concern in the player community was the fact that the base game had released with significantly fewer racing venues (Tracks) than expected.

There were actually very good reasons for the lower number of Tracks - the game had a finite dev time available to it, and many of the tracks from the previous games in the series had NOT been fully or properly scanned using the new track geography system -- in simple terms, Turn 10 did not have full scans for all of the tracks and so could not include them all.

They did include all of the Tracks that they had updated scans for - bearing in mind that most of the tracks in the game are not simply made-up ones, but true renderings of the real-world tracks that they represent. Simply sticking in fabricated versions was not going to cut it, so Turn 10 chose to launch with a smaller number of higher quality tracks, and that was the right decision.

The outstanding question -- and concern -- for most players was not whether Turn 10 would add the missing Tracks later, but whether or not the players would be made to PAY for them?

The answer -- and this may very well have been influenced by the overall reaction of the community to the other economy issues -- so far at least, is that the Tracks being added have been FREE.

The first new track that was added was Road America in Elkhart, Indiana, a very challenging and long race that was very well received by players. The track was made available free as part of the game Update system.

The second new track -- Long Beach -- also includes 10 new Achievements worth 200G that was also FREE and made available as an Update.

Both of the New Tracks feature paid Booster Packs with specific Cars unique to those Tracks available as part of the paid DLC expansion system, but the fact that the tracks were included at no additional cost to the player speaks very well of the understanding Turn 10 has for player expectations and the game.

Closing Summary

The overall outlook for the economy in Forza 5 is good - the game is expanding at a reasonable rate and based upon forward-looking statements from Turn 10 should remain viable at least through 2016, which is a year more than most players expected.

An aggressive expansion system for the DLC side with respect to new Cars promises interesting racing options in the future.

Whether or not all of the New Tracks are free remains to be seen - it seems reasonable to anticipate that there will be some paid Tracks released as DLC - particularly new venues that have not been included in the games in the past - but that is par for the course for the modern simulation racer, and not something that the players will necessarily dislike, particularly as new tracks will likely include additional Achievements and G.

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