Forza Horizon 4 is being delisted due to licensing issues

Forza Horizon 4 is being delisted, just six years after release.
forza horizon 4 delisting game

Forza Horizon 4, which released just six years ago, is set to be delisted from the Microsoft Store, Steam, and Xbox Game Pass on 15 December 2024 due to “licensing and agreements” with third-party partners. On this date, the game will no longer be available for purchase – although it will still be downloadable, and its online multiplayer features will remain live.

Anyone who purchases or has purchased a physical copy of the game will also maintain access. Those who played the game through Xbox Game Pass who purchased DLC are also in luck – a special code delivery for the full game will be arriving to all players in this boat shortly.

Notably, the Forza Horizon 4 Festival Playlist will be wrapped up as part of these changes. Series 77, which is set to kick off on 25 July, will be the last Festival Playlist for the game. When this wraps up on 22 August, players will no longer be able to access the Playlist menu, and several achievements tied to this mode will no longer be available.

Read: Forza Horizon 5 Review – A winning formula and a beautiful world

Forza Horizon 4 DLC set to be delisted imminently

In addition to the base game, every piece of downloadable content for Forza Horizon 4 is set to be delisted imminently. As announced, DLC will be removed from today, June 25, so no additional car packs, passes, and expansions can be purchased. At a quick glance, it appears this content may already be gone forever – so if you haven’t nabbed it already, it’s too late.

For those looking to preserve at least the base game, Forza Horizon 4 is now available at a steep discount on Steam (it’s going for AUD $19.99 in Australia). An additional sale will go live on the Microsoft Store in mid-July.

Why is Forza Horizon 4 being delisted?

As briefly touched on in its announcement blog post, Forza Horizon 4 is being suddenly delisted due to the expiration of licensing and agreements with the many partners that contributed to the game. These agreements are not specified, but could relate to any number of game features. Music licenses tend to be expensive, as artists and labels need to be adequately compensation, so companies typically draw up short term agreements for the use of tracks.

Forza Horizon 4 also contains licensed cars and brands, which likely exist in the game on similar, limited time agreements. This particular game also has Lego tie-in content, likely with similar bounds.

The reality is that optioning real-life cars, brands, and artists means that Forza Horizon 4 was always destined for delisting. It’s likely the December 2024 cut-off was baked into initial licensing arrangements, with the knowledge that consumers would also likely transition to the Forza Horizon 4 sequel, Forza Horizon 5, in time for the game to be delisted with minimal fuss.

In today’s video game landscape, that’s seemingly how popular video games now work. They exist for a brief moment, and then complex, expensive licensing agreements mean they’re forced to go away within a few years of launch. It’s terrible for game preservation, and even worse for those still dedicated to those games. But at this stage, it feels like an inevitability.

For those still playing Forza Horizon 4, it’s best to enjoy the game’s live service aspects while you can. As mentioned, online and multiplayer features will remain live for now, but the game will soon vanish from storefronts, with no new players able to hop in. You can read more about the changes on the Forza Horizon website.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.