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Forza Horizon 3 Developer Build Accidentally Released Instead of Update; Corrupts Saves & Leaks New Content

Microsoft Studios has this evening been left red-faced after an unencrypted developer build of its open world racing game Forza Horizon 3 was made available to PC players instead of a planned update.

Users first began noticing something was awry with the latest version of the game after they were forced to download a 53GB file, as opposed to the several gigs they were expecting for the January Car Park DLC. As it turned out, they were left with a whole lot more than they bargained for.

It didn’t take long for players to realise that the developer build of the game they had downloaded contained unencrypted folders, with the filenames contained within revealing a number of vehicles yet to be announced for the Playground Games-developed title.

Significantly, files referring to a number of Porsche models were discovered; suggesting a DLC themed around the German automobile manufacturer may be in the works. The full list of previously unannounced Porsche cars found in the data files is as follows:

356 A – ’56
550 A Spyder – ’56
911 GT2 – ’12
911 GT3RS – ’12
911 Turbo – ’82
911 Turbo S – ’14
918 Spyder – ’14
944 Turbo – ’89
959 – ’87
996 GT3 – ’04
Carrera GT – ’03
Cayenne – ’12
Cayman GTS – ’15
Mecan Turbo – ’15

Additionally, files referencing the Lola T70, BMW 507, Honda S800 and Renault Alpine GTA LeMans were also data mined by users on social media.

However, the gaffe also led to a significant problem for a number of Forza Horizon 3 players: any user who started a new game save on the downloaded developer build had their existing data irreparably corrupted.

In response to the leak, Forza community manager Brian Ekberg issued the following statement:

“We are aware of an issue with PC players being required to download the full version of FH3. While we investigate the cause and a fix, we are recommending that PC players cancel their current downloads of this FH3 update, as players who download this update will likely need to re-download the game again once the fix is in place.”

It was later updated to include the following information:

“The incorrect PC version of FH3 has now been removed and replaced. PC players who have the FH3 version ending with .37.2 should immediately uninstall that version of the game, then re-install. The correct playable version should end in .35.2.

“PC players who completed the download of .37.2 and then started a new game save will have a corrupted saved game. Avoid creating a new saved game on .37.2, and only play on .35.2 to avoid this issue. As long as you have an existing save and have not created a new one on .37.2, your saved game will work correctly once the update is available.”

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