Xbox One launch title Forza Motorsport 5 will require a one-time online connection to play the game. A mandatory day-one download will introduce content including tracks, cars and offline AI to the game, Dan Greenawalt, studio head at Forza creator Turn 10, told IGN.
He said: “So when you first boot up the game, we’re going to ask you to log in. And when you log in you’re going to get the Drivatars and you’re also going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. Our production schedule is such that we are putting them in as late as possible and that means making them free as downloadable content on day one. That is required content to play the game. We basically have designed the game to work with all that content no matter how late is coming in, in order to make the biggest game possible.”
According to Turn 10, Drivatars act as online AI counterparts, mimicking the traits of real-world players. When you’re not playing, your Drivatar will continue racing against other players using your repeated behavior and tendencies. Therefore, if you’re offline for an extended amount of time, the Drivatars you're racing against won't evolve.
Greenawalt said: “You do have to connect the game in order to get the latest Drivatars, because we need as many people training them as possible. And so rather than having just a launch-day set that was created by us, every day that people race is going to make the Drivatar set that much more accurate, that much more diverse, that much more interesting. All of the cloud and online features make the game far, far better. In fact I’d even say revolutionary. The things we’re doing with opponents and Drivatar are not something that anyone can envision unless you’ve played it. But we’re trying to get as much of that into the unconnected, offline mode as well.”
Like Forza 5, the Xbox One itself will require a day one patch to enable offline play, although the update will hopefully only be mandatory for launch wave units, with an offline mode built into the firmware carried by second wave ones. The console was originally designed as an always-online system, a strategy Microsoft abandoned following a consumer backlash, and one that first party studios like Turn 10 were designing their games around.