Could Forza Horizon 5 Finally Be Set in Japan?

Where will the next Horizon festival be located? There are about 200 countries on this planet, giving Playground Games many options to choose between. But who wouldn't want the highly requested Japan this time? The rumors and leaks are coming already so we could be near an official announcement.

Could Forza Horizon 5 Finally Be Set in Japan?

The latest Horizon title launched just about 2 years ago, so it may be time to get a new, fresh map soon. Although there’s no official announcement regarding a new game, fans are still making predictions about the next title. Like previously, fans are determined it’s Japan because all rumors regarding location are pointing at Japan. So what can we say about Forza Horizon 5 in current state?

Why Japan?

Ever since the early Xbox One days, players have been requesting Japan as the next location because the car culture is different apart from the rest of the world. Also, the landscapes and infrastructure is perfectly built for drifting and racing despite it being illegal. Basically, Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift can summarise the Japanese car culture and explains why Japan is so attractive to fans. It’s every car guy’s dream place. That super long serpentine road on Fortune Island is always full of players for a reason. It’s twisty, which is perfect for drifting, but also something that could replicate a Japanese location. It’s what players have asked for ever since the birth of this franchise.

90s Japanese cars are perfect for drift builds

90s Japanese cars are perfect for drift builds

Other potential locations?

Well, yes and no. Playground Games never discussed why any previous titles weren’t set in Japan. Neither did they state why they chose UK for Horizon 4. But there are rumors and theories regarding their choices of location. A personal theory why they didn’t choose Japan could be console limitation (same theory why there’s no new GTA title). Considering Japan is highly requested, I assume the team want to nail the map and make it huge because they probably won’t make a Horizon game set in Japan twice. Ralph Fulton, head of Playground Games, stated in an interview that Forza Horizon 2 could run 1080p 60fps but they locked it at 30fps due to the fast cars. When traveling too fast with poor console performance, the entire game will freeze because parts of the map haven’t been able to fully load. And, as I assume, Playground Games want to nail the details when making Japan, it wouldn’t be possible with the Xbox One console. 


There is one particular rumor that is currently being spread and, in my opinion, not too untrustworthy. The tweet below shows a leaked image of Horizon being set around Yokohama. Looking at the map, the roads aren’t looking very unrealistic. And the fact that this location specifically does not match with any place on Google Maps, which is another evidence that this could be legitimate. No Horizon map have ever been copied straight from real world. It’s all fictional, but with inspiration from the real world.

Furthermore, the same map got redesigned because, apparently, it was a “placeholder map”. It’s either true (which would be awesome), but these aren’t any official words. There are rumors straight from Reddit and Discord which aren’t reliable sources whatsoever. Even though there are insiders giving out information every now and then, it’s still Reddit after all.  

Last year, rumors suggested that Forza Horizon 5 would be released before the soon-to-come Forza Motorsport. It’s hard to tell whether to believe it or not but it’s a possibility. Turn 10 Studios wanted to take their time with the development of the next Motorsport title instead of rushing. In other words, there might not be a new Motorsport title for the next 2 years! That’s why rumors suggested that we’re getting a new Horizon title first.




Being critical is very important, especially when it comes to the Forza community. Over the past years, people have purposely posted fake leaks on social media platforms which have spread across the Internet rapidly. Most times it’s about Japan which have always turned out to be fake. Horizon festival never went to Japan. Not yet. And I do not see a reason why the tweet above wouldn’t be fake. However, there is a similar map that was leaked about 2 years ago which is looking somewhat similar to the newly leaked map. 

Old concept map, looking very similar to the new leaked map

Old concept map, looking very similar to the new leaked map

This proves that the newest leak is probably fake because both maps features the same locations but the older map is more exaggerated, got more roads and much more detailed than the typical Horizon map. I have a strong feeling that the new map was inspired by the image above. It’s likely create to seek attention from people, just like the previous fake rumors. Only place to find reliable sources is the official website of Forza or their Twitter page. The rest is nothing to rely yourself on.

It’s pointless to build up hype because we’re all going to end up disappointed one or another way. These rumors probably won’t live up to our expectations. But Playground Games never let us down with their amazing work. Even though a minority of the community requested UK as Horizon Festival location, it still became so popular to the point that it outsold any other title in the franchise. 

Forza Motorsport - Official Announce Trailer

So, should you expect the Horizon Festival to land in Japan? Not really, there’s a chance but no evidence. However, there’s actually no reason of skipping Japan this time. It’s a highly requested location and we all know Playground Games do listen to their fans. Hopefully, it’s something they at least take into consideration. 

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar photo

    Really hope it will be in Japan


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