Forza Horizon 5 has achieved another milestone, the game has now crossed the 18 million player threshold. The news was confirmed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the company’s latest financial call. Forza Horizon 5 has set multiple records since its launch. Both for the franchise and Xbox as a whole. During its first week, Forza Horizon 5 set the record for the biggest first week of any game in Xbox history with more than 10 million players checking out the game. The game then passed 15 million players exactly two months after release. That solidified it as the most popular Forza game ever as it set a concurrent player peak record 3x bigger than Forza Horizon 4‘s record.
Forza Horizon has far surpassed the original Forza Motorsport series in terms of popularity. Originally, Horizon games were designed as a spin-off to the Motorsport games that would be released in years when Motorsport games did not. Horizon was designed to be a more arcade-like experience that would appeal to sim and casual racing game fans alike. For the first few years, Motorsport games were released in odd-numbered years and Horizon games in even-numbered years. That was the case until 2018 with Forza Horizon 4, which was released the year after Forza Motorsport 7 in 2017. However, the Motorsport series has been silent for almost five years now. Forza Motorsport 7 has even been delisted from the Xbox store due to licenses expiring.
Microsoft announced the next Forza Motorsport game in 2020, although the title is still in “early development”. Sim racing fans are understandably disappointed at the Motorsport hiatus. With Forza Horizon 5 surpassing 18 million players, it’s clear that the spin-off series has overtaken the original in terms of popularity and success for the Xbox. Hopefully, gamers don’t have to wait too long for more news on Forza Motorsport.