The launch of Forza Horizon 3 was anything but smooth. What was supposed to be a celebration of Microsoft’s flagship racing series arriving on the PC after years spent as an Xbox exclusive was overshadowed by embarrassing technical issues, problems we originally attributed to an intrusive digital rights management package that forced the game to decrypt large files on the fly. Weeks of investigation on behalf of Turn 10 Studios, Playground Games, and Forza Horizon 3 owners alike have discovered that no, anti-piracy measures are the least of Horizon’s worries, but things are much worse than they originally appeared to be, and Forza Horizon 3 for the Windows 10 operating system should have actually been delayed.
A detailed investigation into the widespread performance issues by Forza Motorsport community member Rockstonicko discovered Horizon 3 for Windows 10 was basically the laziest Xbox One port ever conceived. The underlying software, which was originally designed to work within the constraints of the Xbox One’s lackluster hardware, was simply not optimized or even modified at all to function with modern PC’s. As Reddit user imGlitch so eloquently summarized the underlying problem, “Having a single gigabyte of dynamic memory is something that doesn’t happen unless you’re running an integrated graphics card… Or this generation’s gaming consoles.” As a result, Forza Horizon 3 is merely an Xbox One game that boots up and runs on the PC – while still thinking it’s being played in an Xbox One – rather than a multi-platform game that has been carefully fine-tuned to maximize performance from the unique hardware configurations of each respective platform.
The trademark sky is falling segment that you’re used to reading in most PRC.net articles comes next. Both Turn 10 Studios, as well as Playground Games, had no idea this would be an issue despite being a first party developer working closely with Microsoft, and supposedly knowing exactly how to take an Xbox One application and port it to the Windows 10 platform without fucking anything up. In fact, another first party developer, The Coalition, managed to take what they had learned from their own stuttering mess of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and apply it to Gears of War 4 – receiving unanimous praise for how well their new product runs on consumer PC’s. Yet in a post made on Reddit a little over a week ago, a Turn 10 staff member can be seen openly asking the community for help in determining the causes of the framerate pandemonium.
Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games are not even trying to hide the fact that they’re attempting to conduct Quality Assurance Testing after their product has hit store shelves, retailing anywhere from $60 to $120 depending on where you live and whatever fancy Collector’s Edition you decided to purchase. This is disgusting. And now that the precise root cause of the performance issues has been determined, this isn’t something that Playground can fix in a patch or two; serious fundamental work under the hood needs to be done, all while the marketing department happily begs people to spend even more money on monthly DLC packs for a game that admittedly doesn’t function as it should.
What an absolute joke. Forza Horizon 3 for the PC should most certainly have been delayed if the developers themselves can’t even figure out why the game has massive memory leaks, only for a random customer to discover the game was a hastily made port with no effort made whatsoever to optimize the application for a different platform.