We are nearing the end for Forza Motorsport 7 with no replacement yet released.
We're worried that this is a bad sign for Microsoft's Game Pass.
The Game Pass concept
Microsoft's Game Pass is intended to be the Netflix or Spotify of gaming. For a subscription fee, players can play a range of games without needing to own them. This includes Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Motorsport 7 at this time. The upcoming Forza Horizon 5 will also be on the service from day one.
Microsoft specifically claims to have "something for everyone" on the Game Pass. With Forza Motorsport 7 reaching end of life before its successor is released, circuit racing fans will be left out in the cold for the time being.
The Forza problem
Expectations are so high for top titles these days. The next Forza Motorsport game has taken longer than its predecessors in production. Prior iterations have been released on a biennial basis but we won't see the eighth Forza Motorsport release until four years after 7.
Forza Motorsport contains so much licensed content, including circuits, vehicles, and music, that developers Turn 10 Studios need to anticipate the life cycle of a game when agreeing terms with rights owners. It looks like they anticipated the next game being ready in time for these agreements to expire. The replacement Forza Motorsport wasn't ready in time to prevent there being a gap between games being available.
Options for Game Pass racing gamers
Forza Motorsport 7 will still be playable beyond its End of Life date, but will not be available to purchase. If you play the game through the Game Pass, now is the time to purchase a copy.
Play Forza Motorsport 7 on the game pass and have purchased DLC? Microsoft will send you a token to be able to keep playing the game after the End of Life date.
If you haven't already purchased DLC, the game will vanish from the subscription service. Don't buy the Car Pass now expecting to get the whole game though. This only applies to purchases before the End of Life announcement.
Alternatively, if you're not keen to spend more money on Forza Motorsport 7, there are a range of other driving based games on the Game Pass. These include F1 2019, Forza Horizon 4 (and soon 5) as well as some Need for Speed titles.
What we'd like to see
If Microsoft truly intends Game Pass to be the Netflix of games, they need to prepare for these situations. Maybe that means licensing an alternative circuit racing game such as GRID. Maybe they need to anticipate extending the life of games when they ink agreements with rights holders.
Perhaps that could even mean dropping the content for which licenses have expired but keeping the game itself alive. Would players keep playing Forza Motorsport 7 if some music, a car brand, or maybe a circuit vanished?
If it made the difference between keeping a game and losing it forever, perhaps.