In Forza Motorsports 6, buying the VIP Pass entitled players to a permanent boost that doubled purse winnings. When Forza 7 launched, many who purchased the game sprang for the extra $40 to pick up the Ultimate Edition, which includes a VIP membership and additional perks. Other’s just opted for the $20 VIP Pass.
Those players were surprised and upset to find that their privileges were now limited. Instead of the usual permanent CR (the in-game currency) boost, they received five 100-percent CR bonus Mod cards. Each card could be used five times to boost race winnings for a total of 25 times. To continue the perk players would have to purchase additional cards.
What angered players the most is that this change to the VIP Pass went utterly unannounced, even on its product page. When early players began speaking out about it, Microsoft quietly changed the description in the Windows Store to reflect the new system.
Microsoft and developer Turn 10 immediately felt the backlash when the store rating for the VIP Pass plummeted to a dismal 1.3 (545 one-star reviews to 34 five-star ratings as of this writing). This strong public outcry caused the devs to spin a 180.
In a post on the Forza Motorsports website, Turn 10 Studio Head Alan Hartman apologized and announced that the VIP system would revert to the way it used to be.
“Over the weekend we heard loud and clear from Ultimate Edition owners expressing frustration over the VIP membership offer in Forza Motorsport 7. We immediately updated the VIP description in the Windows Store to alleviate any future confusion. As head of the studio, I apologize for any confusion or frustration our players may have experienced … Secondly, and even more significantly, we will be changing VIP rewards in Forza Motorsport 7. This new system will work like it did in Forza Motorsport 6, offering a 2X base credit bonus after every race. We’ve already started work on this feature and we will release it as soon as possible. Look for more information on this update as we near the release date.”
Turn 10 will also be sending VIP members four additional cars and one million CR. Hartman did not indicate how soon the VIP pass system would be changed. He just mentioned that they are already working on it and will release a patch “as soon as possible.”
Some players have already changed their one-star reviews, but others are holding a grudge saying that Microsoft broke their trust with its sneaky behavior. Whether the Forza 7 VIP Pass can dig itself out of the rating hole remains to be seen, but there can be little doubt that even those who have not changed their review are still enjoying those new cars and the million credits.