Xbox's Forza Horizon 4 is set to disappear from digital storefronts after five years of support, but you still have time to buy

Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 4 brought the series to Great Britain. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Developed by Playground Games and published by Xbox Game Studios, Forza Horizon 4 first launched in 2018 to critical acclaim and commercial success. 
  • Like prior Forza games, Forza Horizon 4 is reaching "end of life" status, meaning the game will be delisted from digital stores and removed from Xbox Game Pass on Dec. 15, 2024. 
  • Anyone who purchases a digital or physical copy of Forza Horizon 4 will continue to be able to play the game after it is delisted.
  • Forza Horizon 4 is on sale for Windows PC players via Steam right now, with an Xbox store sale coming on July 14, 2024. 

A phenomenal game is leaving storefronts later this year. 

Forza Horizon 4 is set to be delisted from the Xbox Store and Steam on Dec. 14, 2024, at which point it will also be removed from Xbox Game Pass, Playground Games and Xbox shared on Tuesday. Like with prior Forza games that have been delisted, this is due to licensing agreements with various partners whose support was required for the game, as relates to music tracks and specific cars being included. 

Anyone that has purchased Forza Horizon 4 (digitally or physically) will continue to be able to play the game after it's delisted. Different discounts will be available in the lead-up to the game's delisting, ensuring players have a chance to buy Forza Horizon 4 at a heavily-reduced price before it's no longer available. A Steam sale is live right now, while an Xbox sale will be available on July 14, 2024.

Additionally, anyone that has played Forza Horizon 4 through Xbox Game Pass and purchased some DLC that is still subscribed to the service as of today will be receiving a game code through their Xbox messages in the coming weeks. 

Will you still be able to play Forza Horizon 4 multiplayer?

The green hills of Great Britain flash by. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Yes, Forza Horizon 4 will still be playable online and with full multiplayer functionality after it is delisted. While it is possible the game servers will eventually be turned off, that's not going to be the case for some time. 

It is important to note however that Series 77, which begins on July 25, will be the last Festival Playlist. Once it ends on August 22, there will no longer be a Festival Playlist. This means that Series 77 is your last chance to earn the following Achievements: A Creature of Habit, Stunt Puller, Cashing In, and Perfectionist.

Forza Horizon is one of the biggest brands for Xbox

Forza Horizon 5 brought the series to Mexico. (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | Microsoft)

Initially built by Playground Games as a spin-off of the mainline Forza Motorsport franchise, Forza Horizon quickly grew as a juggernaut for Xbox, with Playground Games and Turn 10 working together on the ForzaTech engine to power both franchises. This engine is also being used for the Fable reboot, which is being developed by a second studio at Playground Games and is slated to launch in 2025.

Each Forza Horizon game has been critically praised with incredible regularity and reliability, and Forza Horizon 4 reached 24 million players by November 2020. Its successor, Forza Horizon 5, launched in 2021 and has reached over 34 million players as of several months ago, player counts that cement Forza Horizon as one of the biggest Xbox brands. 

As a far more recently released game, Forza Horizon 5 remains available for purchase, and is also available in Xbox Game Pass. 

Analysis: A titan is going to sleep

Forza Horizon 4 is a fantastic game, one of my favorites of 2018. While it's certainly a bit sad to see that it's finally going to be delisted, this isn't anything new when it comes to Forza games due to the licensing agreements that go into these titles. Fortunately players have a healthy heads-up as to when the game will no longer be available, so if anyone hasn't bought it yet, this is the time to make sure you can keep it forever. 

In our review of Forza Horizon 4, my colleague Richard Devine wrote that "As it stands today, Forza Horizon 4 is the best racing game you can get on the Xbox One. As ever, it's not trying to be a simulator, but the combination of real-world vehicles, not entirely arcadey physics and a big open playground packed full of entertainment is hard to beat."

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.