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Porsche and EA vs: Ferrari and Microsoft

by John Kirby on August 26, 2011


If you are a console racing sim fan, or Porsche fan, you are probably well aware that Porsche was recently confirmed as a no-show for Forza 4.  Gone are 35 Porsche road and race cars; In it’s place are 3 RUF models.   Sad news given the reputation Porsche has gained over the years on both the road and on the race track (not even the mighty Audi can compare to the dominance that was Porsche at Le Mans).  Turn 10 (Microsoft) pointed a finger at EA for not wanting to cooperate to allow them to license Porsche.  But are they just innocent victims?  I argue no, they are as much to blame as EA, possibly more so.

So what happened?  First we need to look some interesting pieces of information…

1. EA owns the license to Porsche in games currently.  To include Porsche in your game, you need to talk to EA, and bring cash in hand.

2. Turn 10 stated that Forza (Microsoft) had the rights to Ferrari on the Xbox and PC.  You want the prancing horse, you need to talk to them.  Note: Ferrari in GT5 suggests against any type of total Forza monopoly over Ferrari, which would cost a fortune I am sure.

3. Ferrari was not originally in EA’s Need For Speed Shift, but a Ferrari DLC was released for Shift in February 2010, EXCLUSIVE TO THE 360.

4. Forza 3 had both Porsche and Ferrari from the start.

5. EA’s Shift 2 had Porsche, but no Ferrari. In turn, Forza 4 has Ferrari, but no Porsche.

Now, in the above link, the Turn 10 representative mentioned that they appealed to EA to let them have Porsche in Forza 4.  “In the end, however, EA couldn’t see their way towards collaborating again.” Big bad EA, shame on them.  But wait… are we missing something?  Was the previous “collaboration” a 1-1 trade between Microsoft and EA for Ferrari and Porsche? Did that relationship go sour as both companies fought for console racing supremacy?

Lets review points 1-5 again.  On the 360/PC, Forza owns Ferrari rights, and EA owns Porsche rights across all platforms.  Back in 2009 when Shift 1 and Forza 3 came out, both companies said… “Hey, lets work together and trade rights to two of the most popular sports car makes in the world.”  This made perfect sense at the time, because the 500lbs gorilla (GT5) was around the corner then, so the smaller guys needed to band together and combine strengths.  As such, both makes were in both games, the trick being that Shift only got Ferrari as Xbox 360 exclusive DLC for Shift (Microsoft obviously called that one…).

Still, Shift 2 does not have Ferrari this time around, and Forza 4 will not have Porsche.  Someone made the decision not to make the exchange this time around.  Turn 10 suggests it was EA, but I wonder if it was Turn 10 (aka Microsoft) that first denied EA.  Maybe EA felt that 360-exclusive Ferrari DLC was not worth the trade for full rights to Porsche.  Maybe Microsoft’s rules for Ferrari rights were just too steep, and EA wanted to play ball all along.  It is easy, and cliche, to bash Microsoft, but I suspect EA is not fully to blame here.  Obviously Turn 10 has outed EA (which can’t help future relations), but they would never bite the hand that feeds for it’s own lack of cooperation.

“Forza had the exclusive license for all Ferrari cars, for example, on the Xbox and PC platforms. But at the end of the day, we’ve always found that we just weren’t willing to block other racing games from having Ferraris outright, as we believed that this would do nothing but hurt the racing ecosystem.”– Dan Greenwalt

Yet Ferrari was blocked from Shift 2…

I will leave you with one piece of food for thought:.  Maybe I am wrong and EA is fully to blame here.  Maybe Turn 10/Microsoft really did want to continue to trade licenses with EA.  Here is the twist: Maybe a competing title that has sorely missed Porsche, signed an exclusivity deal with the devil (EA) to lock up Porsche, all in attempt to surpass the highest rated racing sim this generation.  The question is, how long do we need to wait until we see if I am right?

Until then, lets hope that EA and Microsoft come around.  I would settle with Porsche DLC in Forza 4, and Ferrari DLC in Shift 2.  For the love of cars, lets all just get along… hell… for the love of money and DLC profits, lets just all get along.

Say Something
  • wolf4real

    dont have the $ for one or the other but if i did a Ferrari all the way

    • Allen

      Corvette all the way. Power, looks, quality and at the best price.

      • pippo

        Too bad they’re undriveable.

        • WildKarrde

          Too bad you’ve obviously never driven one.

  • Donald Linaburg

    I wouldn’t buy neither a Ferrari or Porsche both are a little over rated

  • Drake

    frankly why can’t they make a racing game that lets us drive the fantastic hypercars made by smaller companies eg: noble, Ascari, ariel (it’s a friggin v8 500bhp 550kg car) gumpert, etc

    • Guilherme Mauricio

      You can. Lookup for some Simbin tittles. They’re more realistic (physics-wise) then these Forza, Gran Turismo and Need for Speed (UGH!!!) shit.

  • Zzz


  • Allen

    ZZZ can just STFU, Attack of the Fanboy and yes I was in a 360 artcial yesterday, I’ll continue to do so and as long as the pepper (Anti Fanboy 2) doesn’t show his ugly ass again then I’ll keep it cool.

    And hello, did anyone here start fanboy $hit, no so seriously don’t start it, STFU zzz

    • Allen

      Well looks like xbots aren’t happy with PS3/PC/Wii gamers even complimenting their games. That’s fine vote me down, it just tells me that I should be trolling rather than friendly commenting.

    • Cool dude

      lol, bro ease up man.

    • g4meboy13

      u have no life just get both consoles and stop being a fanboy there really cheap now if thats whats getting you worried

    • Cool dude

      WTF?? a cool dude impersonator? Anyway, yeah, just chill bro.

      And please a message to everyone, please dont post fanboyish comments.

  • Anonymous

    This article doesn’t hold much weight to it and it is just speculating like the rest of us.

    I think people are mistaken when they assume Microsoft didn’t give EA the sub license for Shift 2.

    I’ve heard that Microsoft only has the Ferrari license on XBox and PC. Microsoft granted EA the license for Shift but whoever owns the license on PS3 (possibly Polyphony Digital but it’s not confirmed at all) refused them. Only having Ferrari on XBox and PC made many people angry and EA didn’t release Ferrari for Shift 2 because of the uproar.

    • WLBjork

      Not according to Ian Bell.

      Let’s just say that he refers to MS’ complaints as “hypocrisy” shall we?

      Check out the C.A.R.S sub-forum at nogripracing for more information.

  • Donald Linaburg

    @ Drake seem like everyone is sticking to whatever rapper’s rap about. They don’t really know cars bro!!

  • cheesewaffle1

    kinecting forza 4 all the way

  • Tim

    F*ck xbox!!!

  • ragglefraggle1

    licensing has become so pathetic nowadays…

  • segagaga

    EA is just but hurt because the NO came there directly from Ferrari and not from a platform license holder, just for the info.

  • g4meboy13


  • zXPivotManXz

    EA is pissed that Forza surpasses NFS Shift in SOO-HO-HOOO many ways that they are doing all in their power to limit forza when it comes to cars. Hell, EA is already trying to buy Lamborghini’s license!

  • Mugen

    Well well well, Porsche expansion pack is now coming out for Forza 4. Time to update this article.

  • Maxwell

    Funny, Xbox 360 fanboys keep going on and on like “boo EA sucks” and “lolz EA is jelly cuz Shift sucks”. And they are right, but what they fail / don’t want to realize is that Microsoft is running an anti-PC-gaming campaign, nothing new, but that’s
    the reason why Forza (a Microsoft game, let’s face it) will never make
    it to PC despite the fact that Microsoft develops the most popular PC OS
    as well, which in case some of you don’t know, can (still) run games
    just fine. That’s also the reason why Microsoft wouldn’t let EA use Ferrari’s in the PC version of Shift, despite owning rights on that platform as well (the PS3 being Sony territory).

    I don’t know what EA’s initial reasons for shutting the door in Microsoft’s face were, but I’m glad they did it. Or at least I was at the time, since they still decided to sellout eventually, without even demanding Ferrari rights this time. A**holes.

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