Considering more than six months have passed since the release of the Hot Wheels expansion, Forza Horizon 5's promised second expansion is long overdue.
Speculation about Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 is mounting, but the lack of updates from Playground Games is leaving fans wondering if the next expansion will ever arrive.
What’s going on with Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2?
Since its publication Playground Games has revealed Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 as the Rally Adventure Expansion.
Back in November last year, Game Designer Torben Ellert confirmed the next expansion is coming in “early 2023,” promising that Playground Games will share more details in the new year.
"We're hard at work building the second expansion for Forza Horizon 5,” he said in November’s Forza Monthly show. “You can expect to see it in early 2023. We will have more to share after we enter the new year."
Fast forward to January’s Forza Monthly, and Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 was never mentioned, nor did it appear in the Xbox Developer Direct show where Forza Motorsport was showcased last month.
This is highly unusual. Since Forza Horizon 2, every Forza Horizon game has had two expansions, with the second releasing within the first year of the game’s launch. Forza Horizon 5 has been out for over a year now, yet the second expansion is still shrouded in mystery.
Playground Games’ ongoing silence about the next Forza Horizon 5 expansion isn’t helping the situation and is only heightening players’ expectations.
Creative Director Mike Brown leaving Playground Games along with other senior staff to form new AAA studio Maverick Games earlier this year has only amplified community concerns.
These staff departures may have delayed Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2. A brief update during January’s Forza Monthly confirming it’s still in development with a rough release window would have reassured fans. With no updates from Playground Games, some fans are worried that Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 is cancelled.
This is very unlikely though, as Expansion 2 can still be pre-ordered as part of the Forza Horizon 5 Expansions Bundle, which includes both expansions.
What will the theme be?
According to the Expansions Bundle listing, Expansion 2 will introduce a “new location, vehicles and gameplay to expand your Forza Horizon 5 experience.” But the theme is still a complete mystery.
Historically, every Forza Horizon game has had two themed expansions featuring new cars and locations. One of them is normally a licensed collaboration with a popular IP like Hot Wheels and Lego.
Past expansions like FH2’s Storm Island, FH3’s Blizzard Mountain and FH4’s Fortune Island have introduced new maps, cars, campaigns and extreme weather conditions to spice up the gameplay.
Speculation is rife that Expansion 2 will be a follow-up to Forza Horizon 4’s Lego Speed Champions. This would be disappointing after Expansion 1 was effectively a rehash of Forza Horizon 3’s Hot Wheels expansion with diminishing returns. But it’s not entirely far-fetched either.
When Forza Motorsport was shown at the recent Xbox & Bethesda Developer_Direct presentation, eagle-eyed fans spotted Lego cars deliberately placed on developer’s desks.
Lego cars won’t fit in the simulation-focused Forza Motorsport - could this be teasing a new Lego-themed expansion for Forza Horizon 5?
Considering Hot Wheels has already been recycled, a new Lego expansion won’t be surprising. With only five new cars, a small and forgettable map, and uninspired challenges, Lego Speed Champions is one of the weakest Forza Horizon expansions. Revisiting the world of Lego again probably won't go down well.
If there isn’t a Lego-themed expansion, Lego cars from the previous expansion might get added in a future monthly playlist update as reward cars.
We’re hoping Playground Games can come up with a more creative theme and a completely new location for Expansion 2. After the outlandish Hot Wheels expansion, we’d welcome a new down-to-earth location that expands the map with new environments and racing types.
It's time for Forza Horizon 5 to bring something fresh in the next expansion. One possibility is a drag-racing-themed expansion.
Audio clips alluding to a new drag-racing update were recently discovered in a datamine leak, with new drag strip locations and a campaign taking you through multiple eras of drag racing from the 1930s to the present day. However, it's not clear if this is part of Expansion 2 or a regular monthly update.
Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 release date
The Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 release date is yet to be confirmed. At the time of writing, Playground Games hasn’t provided a release window.
Forza Motorsport was originally supposed to launch in Spring 2023 before reportedly being delayed until the second half of 2023. This may have led to Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 being rescheduled to maximise sales.
With that in mind, Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 could launch this spring between March and May, but we won't know until Playground Games confirms the release date.
Let’s hope Playground Games breaks the silence in February’s Forza Monthly stream later this month. With the Horizon Wilds Takeover series confirmed for March, it’s unlikely to be the main focus, but we may still get a teaser for Expansion 2.
However, the Hot Wheels Expansion was unveiled in June last year during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase in June alongside Forza Motorsport before releasing in July. This could indicate Expansion 2 is being held back until the summer with a reveal planned for this year’s Xbox & Bethesda Showcase presumably in June.
Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 has a lot to live up to. Monthly Festival Playlist updates filled with recycled cars from past Forza Horizon games and tedious challenges that are a chore to complete aren't captivating players.
With Forza Horizon 6 unlikely to arrive until 2024 at the earliest and stiff competition from new open-world racers like Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown and The Crew Motorfest, Forza Horizon 5 Expansion 2 needs to be spectacular to attract players back. Let's hope the extra development time ensures it exceeds expectations.