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Forza developer reveals Pokémon as a source of inspiration for the franchise

By: Jason McCarthy

  |   September 21st, 2012   |  
Microsoft's Xbox E3 Press Briefing

Anyone who has played both a racing game as well as an adventure game would find it hard to believe that they can influence one another to any extent.

As it turns out, the developer team behind one of the most exciting racing franchises Forza draws inspiration from the most unlikeliest of gaming franchise, Pokémon.

In a recent interview with Spong, Forza Motorsports racing franchise’s creative director Dan Greenawalt conceded that the team is clear that looking in the same genre for inspiration is not the best idea since it has a strong possibility of leading of blandness.

Instead, the studio has taken their inspiration from the popular Japanese game that has got nothing to do with cars or racing.

One of the most striking and absorbing aspect of Pokémon is collecting a wide range of pokémons, some of which are extremely rare, thus making the search even more exciting and a successful hunt even more pleasing.

Greenawalt admitted that they incorporated the characteristic elements of Nintendo’s immensely popular monster-catching franchise into their own franchise, thus coming up with the car-collecting and rarity systems.

“I knew that I wanted this car-collecting element to be implemented into the game,” Greenawalt said. “What game, especially back in 2002, had inspired collecting more than Pokémon?”

He explained that the Japanese role-playing featured a system that came off as very natural, the way the player had to make an effort to get his hands on different pokémons of different colours, with the hunt of some pokémons requiring more effort and patience than others.

Greenawalt explained that this collecting and rarity system fits extremely well in a car game as the two systems feel pretty natural.

“So in Forza 1, the cars had a rarity meter, and you had to pick your region – much like choosing Pokémon Sapphire or Ruby – and that made certain cars more or less rare in the game. That was directly inspired by Pokémon,” said Greenawalt.

The creative director further went on to reveal that the Forza franchise is inspired a handful of other intellectual properties (IP) as well, namely Red Dead Redemption, World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed.

It is not every day that one finds a developer admitting that he has indeed taken an inspiration from other games and that too such as Pokémon when the game in spotlight under the spotlight is a racing one.

The Forza Motorsports franchise is one of the most popular racing game franchises in the markets in the game, with developer Playground Games all set to release the next title in the series, Forza Horizon. It has also been revealed that the upcoming game will be receiving a few DLCs, which is expected to keep the experience on offer fresh and exciting.