The open world racer Forza Horizon 4 has become somewhat controversial lately due to the new community rules. The game has an ESRB rating of “E” (for “Everyone”), meaning it should be playable for anyone regardless age, culture or nationality. Therefore, Playground Games had to introduce new community rules which, however, did not favour a certain number of players. Anyone who break the rules obviously receives a ban.
Several symbols shall not be recreated in the livery editor, and you can’t show certain messages that’d come off as offensive. Bans also occur for players who exploit or somehow cheat in order to succeed. The list of rules can be found on the official website of Forza. Although it may seem like a no-brainer to people, it doesn’t necessarily apply to influencers who stream on platforms such as Twitch and Youtube. This information was provided by a known member in the community called PTG Wildcat. He received a 30-year suspension and later went out on Discord to notify other players. Before spreading the message, he did a research to better understand the bans. After speaking to developers inside Turn 10 Studios, he discovered the truth why some influencers don’t always get banned. Wildcat received the following statement from Turn 10:
In a couple of cases, Influencers or Youtubers that got banned used their influence and status to get their bans overturned. This is an unfortunate thing as it’s unfair to a majority of us, but things like this do happen. It’s not fair to and some inside the studios agree that it’s not fair, but the PR and marketing teams who worked closely with these influencers have enough pull within to get bans like this overturned even when they are legitimate.
His message can also be found on Reddit. In other words, the studio is dependent on the influencers as they are advertising the game. The risk of suspending influencers would eventually lead to a poor reputation, which is not what Playground Games are striving for. Since the influencer has the ability to openly speak about the game to a large audience, it’s better to avoid bans. It’s something affected players have to endure.
In the end, it’s something that has to be done. Rules are rules and they shall not be broken. But each person must mind the rules and be careful. The bans may last from a couple of weeks to multiple decades.