It’s official. Hot on the heels of a return to Hot Wheels’ lineup, Toyota is coming back to video games on December 12th with an update to Forza Horizon 4. After reportedly pulling their licensing out of video games that “promote street racing,” Toyota has reversed course and are beginning to allow video game companies to use their cars again. What is equally important about this news, however, is what car they chose to start with.
That car is not the A90 Supra as one would assume, but rather the car that both Toyota and Playground Games knows everyone loves, the legendary 1998 Toyota Supra RZ that has appeared in almost every previous Forza title (Forza Horizon 2 shown above).
During their livestream, Playground Games used the words “for years to come,” meaning that there will almost certainly be a much larger Toyota presence in Forza games in the future. This does not mean that every video game will suddenly have a flood of Toyotas, but rather they will trickle into games again starting December 12th. Future updates to Forza Horizon 4 will continue to deliver additional Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. Maybe if we’re lucky they will finally get all five generations of Supra in the game for once.
Many theories circulated on the internet, but this seems to be a reversal of their peculiar stance of not wanting to promote street racing. Or, perhaps as with the return of the A80 to the Hot Wheels lineup, just getting unnecessarily strict with their licensing.
Having an entire manufacturer disappear then reappear like this is not unprecedented in the video game world. During the early 2000s EA Games had a licensing contract with Porsche which barred their cars from other titles. It turned out to be a net positive for Porsche because there was an obvious demand for their cars in games, and today Porsche enjoys some of the best representation in video games of any brand.
Toyota was able to stir up that same sense of scarcity by having their cars be absent for 2 years. While it can be seen as misguided, it created an outcry from Toyotaku gamers around the world. Hopefully this will mean that Playground Games will see the popularity of more than just the Supras and give us some more of Toyota’s stable of great enthusiasts cars. We would love to see cars like the Cressida, Corolla, Celica, and Corona in digital form.
Regardless of the politics of how and why Toyota decided tighten their licensing, we are happy to see them back. When you get your A80 Supra in Forza Horizon 4, be sure to share a screenshot of your car with us on social media and slap on the JNC inkan that some of our readers have lovingly recreated in game. We might send you a real one (a sticker, that is, not a Supra!).