Hot on the heels of Forza Horizon 2‘s demo outing, Microsoft has announced the franchise’s parent title will be available to all Gold subscribers for free this weekend.
From Thursday, Sept. 4 at 12:01 a.m. PDT, Gold subs will have access to the full Forza 5 experience on Xbox One (minus DLC) for free, all the way through to 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Sept. 7 in all markets where Xbox One is available.
The weekend promotion is not dissimilar to EA Access’ Play First, where subscribers can play for free, five days prior to launch, before deciding whether to buy the full game on release. Microsoft has also offered similar incentive promotions in the past in the way of free Gold weekends, where non-paying Xbox Live users get the full benefits of Gold, including online play.
Users have expressed aversion to the lack of demos for Xbox One games, and this might be a compromise that is ultimately prefered. Demos in the past have often consisted of a singular, infinitely repeatable game mode or slice of gameplay that isn’t necessarily indicative of the final product. New console generations should introduce new ways for us to play and this definitely fits that bill.
It will be interesting to see how – if Microsoft does choose to apply the scheme to other titles – the promotion might fit in with differing genres. Story driven games are of course an issue since gamers will potentially have over 48 hours to power through them. Multiplayer heavy games though, might welcome the idea as their replay value won’t be diminished by a weekend long binge.
Forza has become a staple of the Xbox One brand and is considered the “highest-rated racing franchise”, based on Metacritic scores. Forza Horizon 2 arrives on Sept. 30.