'Forza' creators revving up 'Fast & Furious' video game
LOS ANGELES (AP) "Fast & Furious" and "Forza" are hitching a ride together.
The hugely successful movie franchise is teaming up with the critically acclaimed "Forza" racing series for a video game featuring cars and missions inspired by Universal Pictures' "Fast & Furious" film series. The downloadable title will serve as an expansion to "Forza Horizon 2," the latest open-world edition of Turn 10 Studios' "Forza Motorsport" game franchise.
"We've been talking with the folks at Turn 10 for a number of years and have always wanted to work together," said Bill Kispert, executive vice president of digital licensing at "Fast & Furious" studio Universal. "It was a matter of schedules, capacity and a film coming together at the right time. It finally has, and we're excited to collaborate with Turn 10."
"Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious" will launch March 27 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The stand-alone title will not require "Forza Horizon 2" and will be available for free until April 10 to promote the April 3 release of "Furious 7," the latest installment in the film series. After that date, the "Fast & Furious"-themed expansion will cost gamers $10.
Set before the movie, the game casts players as a driver in France tasked with sourcing vehicles for mechanic Tej Parker (portrayed by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges in the films and game). The automobiles are virtual renditions of those in the "Fast & Furious" movies, such as the iconic 1970 Dodge Charger R/T driven by Vin Diesel's character Dominic Toretto.
"We weren't interested in doing yet another movie-based game," said Alan Hartman, studio head at Turn 10. "That's not what our franchise is about. When we started talking about this with Universal years ago, it was really about bringing both of our franchise's strengths to the table. We're building on top of everything we've done over the last decade."
Hartman said Universal and the "Fast & Furious" filmmakers provided access to the series' cars, production designs and footage in order to virtually reconstruct them in "Forza Horizon 2." He noted that the vehicles in the "Fast & Furious" expansion would be recreations of cars from the film series right down to their scratches and customized options.
The game will include such "Furious 7" rides as a 1998 Toyota Supra, 1970 Plymouth Road Runner, 2012 Nissan GT-R, 1970 Plymouth Cuda, 2013 Jeep Wrangler, 2014 Maserati Ghibli S and 2015 Dodge Charger.
While the "Fast & Furious" series has been depicted in a few poorly received console and smartphone games, this partnership is a car pool featuring a couple of dynamos: the "Fast & Furious" film franchise has made more than $2.3 billion at the worldwide box office, and "Forza" games are the most-played racing simulations on the current generation of consoles.
"It's kind of been a grand experiment," said Hartman. "I hope what we're doing here is a model for what we do in the future. It's been a great relationship, and I don't want to end it after this, so we'll see what's possible in the future."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .