What just happened? Pretty much everyone was expecting Forza Horizon 5 to be one of the biggest titles of the year, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: head of Xbox Phil Spencer has revealed that the driving game had the “largest launch day” in Xbox Game Studios’ history.
Signs that Forza Horizon 5 would be a massive hit came in the run-up to its release. The game’s leaderboard showed almost one million people (it eventually reached over 1.2 million) had bought the $99 Premium Edition or $45 Premium Add-Ons Bundle, granting them access ahead of the official November 9 arrival date. VGC estimates that Forza Horizon 5 would have made between $54 million and $118 million before its full launch, based on these figures.
Spencer confirmed Forza Horizon 5’s popularity on Twitter. He wrote that over 4.5 million players are driving around a virtual Mexico across the PC, could, and console platforms, making it the largest ever launch day for an Xbox Game Studios title.
We've invested for years in Xbox so more people can play. With 4.5+ million players so far across PC, cloud & console, Forza Horizon 5 shows that promise coming to life. Largest launch day for XGS game, peak concurrent 3x FH4 high. Thank you players & congrats to @WeArePlayground— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 10, 2021
Additionally, Spencer revealed that Forza Horizon 5’s peak concurrent player count has hit three times that of predecessor Forza Horizon 4, one of the biggest games of 2018.
Forza Horizon 5 has been a hit with both critics and players. IGN awarded it a coveted 10/10 score, PC Gamer gave 90%, and it is OpenCritic’s highest-rated game (92) released this year so far. On Metacritic, meanwhile, it has an average score of 91, making it the joint-top release of 2021. It’s also the number one best-selling game globally on Steam and is available on Xbox Game Pass/Game Pass for PC.
In other Forza Horizon 5 news, we recently heard that a post-launch update for the game would add sign language interpreters. There are also reports of players buying up hundreds of cheap 1940s Willy Jeeps and spending points on its upgrade tree to unlock a Super Wheelspin, lootbox-style rewards that offer cash payouts and rare vehicles.