Forza Motorsport 5 will launch with over 200 cars. That's a sizeable assortment of motors, but it's a bit of a step down from Forza Motorsport 4, which shipped with something in the region of 500. Hence the fiery reaction to the announcement of a Season Pass, which includes access to six monthly 10-car DLC packs, the first of which (a Ferrari LaFerrari special) launches alongside the main game.
To resurrect an old debate, have Turn 10 and Microsoft purposefully withheld content in order to drum up a bit of extra pocket money? We took the opportunity to cudgel creative director Dan Greenawalt's brains on the subject after a recent hands-on.
"We're not keeping anything back," he rather unsurprisingly began. "I think people misunderstand the way these things work. It takes us six months to build a car, so when I say there's a ten-car pack launching day one - they're not done. We're not done with them yet.
"So we're not holding anything back, we were crunching to make sure we had this level of quality on all 200 cars. Every one had to be Forza level of quality. This was as many as we could build - straight up. We've built this whole process.
"It's a bit like firing artillery," Greenawalt mused, a bit more surprisingly. "We started building these cars in waves, so the 200 would be done just in time to get it printed for disc, and we started, three or four months later, the first of the ten that are going to be delivered on day one, and about a month after that we start the first of the ten that are going to be delivered the month following. The whole thing is timed so that we're getting them done right before we launch them.
"The issue is, when you're trying to do new cars and it takes us six months to build a car, it's hard to stay fresh," he added. "Even when we get data from the manufacturers, they build their cars up to the last second, and then we get the data and we've got to add six months on top. And if you want to have a hot car, you need to start it as late as possible, which means finishing it as late as possible.
"And that's why DLC has worked so well for us, because we can start shooting these artillery shots. So the whole idea that things are being held back..." It's a popular internet rant, we offered. "Many rants are popular," Greenawalt replied. "That doesn't make them accurate!"
Turn 10 and Microsoft aren't oblivious to the fact that players won't appreciate the additional outlay, on top of the cost of a next generation console. "Money is money and money is tight. We've been in a recession for a long time. So I'm not by any means trying to downplay people's [financial concerns]."
And Greenawalt feels the game delivers ample bang for buck, even without the DLC cars. "I don't believe there has been a racing game at launch that has been this size. By a long shot. 200 plus cars, tons of environments - this is a huge game. If you play one car a day, let's say, that's 200 cars. That's a lot of value. I understand people being angry, because money is money, but this is not a short game or a small game and we're absolutely not holding anything back."
Convinced? Thanks to Richard Wordsworth for the interview, during which Turn 10's frontman also discussed the importance of Xbox One's cloud as regards achieving that lustrous 1080p resolution.