Don’t Expect Forza Horizon 6 to Release in 2024

a red sports car is driving down a road with a plane flying overhead .

a red sports car is driving down a road with a plane flying overhead .

Last night’s Xbox Games Showcase was undoubtedly the best in years. Microsoft was firing on cylinders in a show packed with surprise reveals from Doom: The Dark Ages to the Perfect Dark remake plus an extended look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 6’s explosive campaign. For racing game fans, however, it was a disappointing show.

As the show progressed, fans were anxiously waiting for news on the next Forza Horizon entry, but to no avail. Forza Horizon 6 was nowhere to be seen. Instead, Playground Games showed off its new Fable reboot set to release in 2025. Unusually, Forza didn’t have any presence in the show – we didn’t even get a preview of Forza Motorsport’s next update.

What does this mean for Forza Horizon 6?

The lack of announcement at the Xbox Games Showcase suggests Forza Horizon 6 won't arrive until 2025 at the earliest. That will be four years after Forza Horizon 5, making it the longest gap in the series yet. Previous Forza Horizon games were released every two or three years, but the next entry will seemingly break this pattern.

KT Racing and Nacon will be breathing a sigh of relief, as Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown won’t have any direct competition in September.

A Corvette drifting on a track in Forza Horizon 5
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Forza Horizon 6 has yet to be officially announced. However, its development was seemingly confirmed in a 2022 job listing for a level designer to work on the Forza Horizon team’s “next AAA title” to create “fun, playable gameplay experiences.”

With over ten million players in the first week, Forza Horizon 5 was the biggest Xbox game launch in history. Three years later, it’s still one of the most popular current-gen racing games, and so a sequel is inevitable.

Although Forza Horizon 6’s location is shrouded in secrecy, many fans hope the Horizon Festival will head to Japan to celebrate JDM and drift culture.

A 2024 release for Forza Horizon 6 was already in doubt. Even though Forza Horizon 6 is presumed to be in development, Forza Horizon 5’s updates are showing no signs of slowing down.

A Jaguar driving down a race track in Forza Horizon 5
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Despite its third anniversary fast approaching, Playground Games still regularly supports Forza Horizon 5 with new cars, playlists, and map changes in monthly themed updates. Meanwhile, a separate team is working on the Fable reboot.

With the teams split between Fable and Forza Horizon 5 updates, Forza Horizon 6 doesn't seem to be the main priority right now. This will likely change when Forza Horizon 5's updates slow down, allowing Playground Games to pour more resources into the sequel.

If Forza Horizon 6 is pushed back to next year, it will most likely be announced at next year's Xbox Games Showcase in June before releasing in September or October 2025. However, this would mean Forza Horizon 6 going head-to-head with GTA 6, with publisher Take-Two Interactive recently confirming an autumn 2025 release window.

Hyundai N Vision 74 in Forza Horizon 5
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Although GTA 6 isn’t a dedicated racing game with licensed cars or a direct competitor, driving is a core part of GTA, and racing is one of the most popular modes in GTA Online. It’s also one of, if not the most anticipated game release in history. As a result, publishers will be carefully planning their release schedules to avoid losing sales to GTA 6.

Alternatively, Forza Horizon 6 could possibly be announced later this year with an earlier Spring 2025 release date to avoid colliding with GTA 6. With Fable also due out next year, Forza Horizon 6 could even be pushed back until 2026.

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A new challenger

Ironically, the next game will also face stiff competition from ex-Playground Games staff. Maverick Games, an AAA startup studio led by Forza Horizon 5’s former creative director Mike Brown, recently announced its new Forza Horizon rival.

Published by Amazon Games, the studio’s first unnamed game is a “narrative-led, open-world driving game” set to arrive on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Senior staff who worked on the Forza Horizon games left Playground Games to work on Maverick's mystery project.

A logo for Maverick Games is displayed on a blurry background of a car
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With so many racing game veterans helming the project, it has the potential to reinvigorate open-world driving games and give Forza Horizon some stiff competition. 

Many fans will be disappointed if Forza Horizon 6 is delayed until 2025 or 2026. However, this could be a blessing in disguise. With more time to work on the next entry and new talent behind the scenes, Playground Games can hopefully breathe new life into Forza Horizon and take the series in a bold new direction in a potential reboot.

Were you hoping to see Forza Horizon 6 at this year’s Xbox Games Showcase? Let us know in the comments below.

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