"Jeremy's not in the game," says Turn 10 creative director, Dan Greenawalt. And that is that. After fronting much of Forza Motorsport 5, it seems Jeremy Clarkson's acrimonious split with the BBC also cut short his involvement with the upcoming Xbox One racing sequel, too. But that's not to say that applies to Top Gear as a whole.
It seems Top Gear the brand remains a major part of the Forza 6 firmament, even if its presenters' involvement is a little changed: "Our Top Gear partnership is really strong, actually," says Greenawalt, speaking to GamesRadar at Gamescom, "so the Top Gear Test Track's in there, there's Stig one-on-ones, there's Top Gear challenges - those challenges were written by some of the writers - and it's fully integrated."
Hammond and May also make their return, now under their own names, and separate from the Top Gear sections. That's facilitated by Forza 6's new Showcase events, each of which is presented by a separate name in motorsport, from drivers to presenters. Essentially, it meant that leaving out Clarkson wasn't a huge shake-up to the game as it was.
"Before any of the Top Gear... issues happened, we changed the way our Career mode worked," explains Greenawalt. "We wanted to bring in more voices in motorsport, so we'd reached out to these automotive race car drivers and celebrities, and that automatically made Richard and James one of many. So when the split happened it was easy to just say 'well, you guys are still hugely passionate automotive icons, so stay involved'."
With Top Gear and its old presenters appearing together but apart, it kind of sounds like a couple of ex-lovers awkwardly attending the same car-themed party. They'll studiously ignore one another, but we'll all know. Delicious.
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