Forza Motorsport and the Reason All Gamers Know RUF
Another brand’s exclusivity deal was great marketing for RUF.
We are nearly a month away from the release of "Forza Motorsport 7"—the first Forza since "Forza Motorsport 3" to feature Porsche cars on its release date. "Forza Motorsport" games have been unable to have Porsche cars in their games due to exclusive licenses owned by Electronic Arts (EA). Basically, EA's exclusive license is the same type of license that allows it to be the sole licensee of NFL branded games, its Madden series. EA and Porsche have had this exclusive partnership since 2000 with the classic title "Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed."
Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft's in house developer of the Forza series, has occasionally sub-licensed Porsche cars in Forza, but these deals have been hit or miss. "Forza Motorsport 7" for example ran into some licensing issues with Toyota cars. For "Forza Motorsport 3," Turn 10 was able to obtain a sub-license for Porsche cars, but for "Forza Motorsport 4" they were unable to. Turn 10 found an in genius loop hole by having cars that are Porsche's in everything but name, RUF Automobile GmbH cars, included in the game. RUF cars began appearing in "Forza Motorsport 4" when a sub-licensing deal with EA could not be made and this had a positive effect on the RUF brand, Forza gamers around the world now knew who RUF was. It is the kind of marketing and brand awareness any company dreams of. If you wanted to drive a Porsche, you drove a RUF.
Since "Forza Motorsport 3," Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft have made sub-licensing deals which have allowed Porsche cars to appear in Forza games as downloadable content such in Forza Motorsport 4 and more recently Forza Motorsport 6.
After 16 years the EA-Porsche exclusive deal has ended. "Forza Motorsport 7" will feature Porsche cars. Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft have entered into a six year partnership that transcends the Forza series. Porsche announced the Porsche 911 GT2 RS at a Forza press event earlier in the year.
What does this mean for RUF?
As of this article all of the "Forza Motorsport 7" Car List's released by Turn 10 Studios have been null on the RUF front. Bringing Porsche back into the fold appears to have pushed RUF away, but the positive impact has been made none the less, car gamers everywhere know the RUF brand. There is always a chance Turn 10 will release a RUF car as part of the many car packs following the main games release.