Google Maps Played A Big Role In Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico


Forza Horizon has been a globetrotting treat that has exposed gamers to some exotic locales not often represented in video games. Mexico is the next port of call for Playground Games and their fifth iteration for the franchise.

The map is 50% larger than their vision of Britain from Forza Horizon 4, and there are eleven biomes to explore and take in. Even the game’s Initial Drive gives players a taste of what to expect from this beautiful version of Mexico, from towering volcanoes to dense jungles.

Forza Horizon 5 began its development prior to the pandemic and, as such, Playground Games managed to place a scouting team in the field to research for their Mexico.

Recently, we got to chat with Creative Director at Playground Games, Mike Brown, and he gave us an insight into how the team leverages Google Street View for a lot of the finer details.

“We do use a lot of Google Street View, it’s really good for those little details. What do people have on their porch? Do they have a little bench? You can actually see people just leave their bikes and stuff outside. You can pick up these little lived-in details.”

But it doesn’t always work out for the best, as he shared a story about one of the scouting team’s misadventures.

“A funny story, based in Street View, is that we’d found this location in the desert that looks absolutely beautiful. It’s just like an archetypal Mexican desert, it had this dirty road going through, it was all cracked and charred.

“And you could see how the sun had just been baking down on it over the decades. And we wanted to go to this really specific location to capture this road. And when the team got there, within the eighteen months or whatever it was since Street View had been updated, it had been completely repaved with a completely pristine new road.”

Forza Horizon 5 releases for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Game Pass on November 5, 2021.