Speculation around the location for the next game in the Forza Horizon series appears to be zoning in on one conclusion: Forza Horizon 5 will be set in Mexico.
Although this is far from confirmed, well-placed sources appear to have given the Mexico location their stamp of approval. WindowsCentral editor Jez Corden lit the initial fires with a non-too-cryptic Tweet about some upcoming Xbox titles:
🇲🇽🚗, ⭐🚜, 😇♾ … 🌀➕…🐲?
— Jez (@JezCorden) April 29, 2021
That was actually Corden’s second Tweet on the subject, having posted “I really want to visit Mexico some day”, with the same car and flag emojis, earlier in the month. That prompted VentureBeat journalist Jeff Grubb — who’s previously suggested that FH5 may well beat the next Forza Motorsport title to market — to reply that he was learning Spanish, adding “el coche va vroom”: “the car goes vroom”.
While that seemed like a playful exchange at the time, Grubb has subsequently been a little more definitive. Appearing on the Iron Lords gaming podcast over the weekend, Grubb faced some questions on these social media interactions:
“Let’s start with the Forza and the Mexican flag… I wonder what that means!
“I knew it wasn’t in Japan. The rumor was always Japan, right? The rumor was Japan. I got some fake screenshots a long time ago that I never shared, that were in Japan; I’m like, that’s not real… and it turned out that it wasn’t real, but I wasn’t looking into it too hard.
“Then Jez [Corden] was like “I’m going to Mexico with my car!”. Immediately a couple of sources are like “oh I wonder why Jez is saying that”. So yeah, it’s… it’s in Mexico.”
As Grubb suggests, a fake map of Forza Horizon 5 has been doing the rounds, though it is clearly a fake. All previous Forza Horizon games have used heavily stylized versions of their respective locations, with greatly simplified road networks and altered dimensions, but the fictional FH5 map was a direct copy of 10,000 square miles around Tokyo from Google Maps, with place names marked in the Forza Horizon 4 font.
That hasn’t stopped rumors that the game would head to Japan, and the country would seem to be a good fit, but it’s increasingly looking like FH5 will be an entire ocean away and back on the North American continent for the first time since the original Forza Horizon.
Mexico would make an intriguing location for the series too. Natural boundaries like the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, the Rio Grande (or a border wall), and the Lacandon Jungle would serve to hem players in. The capital, Mexico City, is one of the most heavily populated cities in the world, and at over 7,000 feet above sea level, one of the highest national capitals — though Horizon has never been centered on a national capital city, so Guadalajara or Monterrey might be better bets as a setting.
We’ll find out in due course how accurate this particular rumor is, and chances are we might even be driving it by the end of this year.
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