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Racing Fans Outraged Over Forza Motorsport Game Awards


Forza Motorsport awards

The Game Awards 2023 threw up very few surprises overall. There was one category that caught people off-guard, however.

Forza Motorsport took the crown for Best Sports/Racing Game, beating the likes of F1 23, The Crew Motorfest and Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 - Turbocharged. That’s a pretty big deal for the Froza series, but the result hasn’t gone down well amongst the sim racing community.

Driving to glory

Before we get into the controversy, let’s first look at the achievement. Forza Motorsport is the first entry in the series in six years, bringing the fight back to Gran Turismo for the first time in years.

With photo-realistic visuals, adaptive AI, and an innovative dynamic weather system on every track in the game, Forza Motorsport has many standout features that make it excel compared to 2021’s Gran Turismo 7.

Forza Motorsport
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It seems justified that the game would be nominated in the Game Awards 2023, taking one of five spots in the Sports/Racing Game category. Forza Motorsport not only won its main category, but it also sped home with the Innovation in Accessibility award. This is a great achievement for Forza, but its win has created quite a stir online.

Celebrating mediocrity

The news of Forza Motorsport’s win didn’t go down well with everyone. Many racers are questioning how a game can be considered the best of a category when it was plagued with issues upon launch. These issues ranged from inconsistent frame rates to save files being corrupted due to a crash.

Jimmy Broadbent is one of the most prominent figures speaking out, posting on X (formerly Twitter) that it was a shame to see a game “so half baked achieve this much recognition.” Other figures in the sim racing community are also bewildered by how Forza Motorsport managed to win.

Forza Motorsport Jimmy Broadbent post
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BlackPanthaa continued the criticism, claiming Forza Motorsport should decline the award “and hope for a ‘most improved’ award one day.” It seems no one is pulling their punches, claiming Forza Motorsport winning is celebrating mediocrity. But Forza Motorsport was destined to win this year.

The truth is Forza Motorsport was the best of a mediocre bunch in 2023. The Crew Motorfest could also stake a claim, but beyond that, there was little to get excited about. If Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown had been released this year instead of being delayed to 2024, then perhaps that would have taken the title instead.

Forza Motorsport award controversy
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With racing and sports titles combined into a single category, there’s little room for titles outside the main releases to be nominated. Considering the majority of the main releases each year are annual releases, this means little innovation for the category.

There is a solution to this problem, however.

Archaic awards

The format of the Game Awards is outdated. With many categories featuring only five nominations, despite the wide range of titles released each year, the results are becoming more and more controversial.

For racing games, the biggest problem is the category they are in. With no dedicated racing section, many racing titles are grouped together with sports titles like EA Sports FC 24. This is comparing apples to oranges, and it’s about time racing was given its own category.

RIDE 5
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This would open up the award to more quality racing games. Even motorbike racers like MotoGP 23, RIDE 5 and TT Isle of Man - Ride on the Edge 3 could be included, without being knocked out of the way for generic sports games.

Until the Game Awards gets this much-needed change, expect to see more controversial picks in various categories. After a certain trailer was released this week, we expect the only non-surprise winner to be announced in 2025.

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