Toyota will return to racing games in Forza Horizon 4 next month.
You might be wondering where the heck Toyota has been all these years? They’re only the largest car manufacturing on the planet. Don’t they have racing teams? Don’t they make cars worthy of running around a track really fast? Or appearing as the protagonist’s humble origins before they invariably trade up for a Lamborghini or something?
Anyway, yes, Toyota has been largely absent from gaming in recent years, which has led to wide speculation as to what gives. Toyota’s UK Twitter gave us our first hint during the announcement of Need for Speed: Heat’s car list. There were plenty of Ferraris, Lambos, Fords, and Hondas, but there was one very conspicuous absence: Toyota.
Toyota’s Twitter replied to one inquisitive user to ask about their absence and was told that it had to do with the portrayal of illegal street racing in Need for Speed: Heat. Then a day later, that unfortunate Toyota employee had to print a larger apology and retraction, saying it had nothing to do with the legalities of street racing and everything to do with the legalities of marketing.
It turns out, Toyota had signed an agreement with Gran Turismo to only be featured in that racing franchise. At least, that’s what the response was meant to imply as we’ve only seen Toyota vehicles in Gran Turismo, so we can read between the lines.
Eurogamer noted that Playground was negotiating with Toyota late last year, but couldn’t come to an agreement. That might mean that Toyota’s exclusive arrangement with Gran Turismo is up, meaning an agreement is now possible, or Playground just wasn’t paying enough cash for Toyota to break their exclusive deal. Or maybe there was no exclusive deal and Toyota was just being coy.
Either way, Toyota is back, and that means we’ll be able to see the new 2020 Mk5 Supra in virtual action very soon.