Forza Motorsports 4 is only a month away and details are coming with more frequency, so it’s no wonder this little controversy has come to light. Due to publisher/developer EA owning the license to have Porsche vehicles in video games they have greedily blocked Turn 10 Studios from sub-licensing the cars for their latest game. Though they did have it for Forza 3.
This could have a little something to do with Need for Speed: The Run coming out a little over a month after Froza 4’s October 11 release, on November 15th. In a Q&A on the Forza blog, Greenawalt states “We’ve asked our contacts at EA to reconsider their position frequently and regularly over the last 18 months. We also reached out to various influential people in gaming to lobby on our behalf, and on your behalf, but that was to no avail,”
Greenswalt also mentions how their company handles licensing issues when the role is reversed: “Forza had the exclusive license for all Ferrari cars, for example, on the Xbox and PC platforms. But at the end of the day, we’ve always found that we just weren’t willing to block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem.”
So it seems that EA is just not playing fair, though the game will feature RUF cars, which use unlicensed Porsche bodies and chasis. This will not help EA’s reputation as money-hungry corporation, or perhaps it was just that Microsoft didn’t want to solve this problem by shelling out some extra coin.
Sounds like something EA would do…
It happens, if you hold an exclusive license, then it’s best to hang onto it tightly. Besides, there might be a thousand legal issues and clauses in the agreement that forbid giving it to someone else without having to pay a rather large fee. Fickle things using properties that are not your own and it’s best to avoid those problems altogether.
The last thing a game needs is to be granted use of something someone else owns, and a week after release, someone says “Wait! Stop the presses, you can’t use that according to clause 62873 subsection NT paragraph 673” and get the whole thing pulled.
Or it’s just EA being greedy.
I wish Turn 10/MSFT would just pay EA’s stupid sublicensing fee to get access to the cars. I don’t care if they then turn and pass it along in the cost of a “Porsche Pack” to us. I know everyone wants something for nothing, but I for one, would be willing to pay for the 35 plus cars it would include…