The Forza Racing Championship will return in 2018, where competitors will compete for more than $250,000 in total prize winnings in Forza Motorsport 7.
"Our vision for Forza is to bring together racing communities and real world automotive communities and gamers and actually create this massive community of gamers that love cars and love games," Dan Greenawalt, franchise creative director for Forza, said in an interview with ESPN.
It all starts with the ForzaRC 2018 Preseason Invitational on March 24th in Seattle. After that, the regular season will begin. It will be split into two series, each with seven weeks of ranked events, and ending with a live playoff event with a top prize of $75,000.
After the completion of both series, the top 24 drivers will be invited to compete in the ForzaRC World Championship, with a $100,000 prize pool.
"Motorsports are a very expensive thing to get into," Greenawalt said.
Greenawalt believes that the goal for professional sim-racing esports is not to turn digital drivers into real-world drivers.
"That's not really the case with today's esports. The ultimate goal of being an esports competitor is to be an esports competitor. It's to be a top champion," Greenawalt said.
ForzaRC will follow a point system, and those with the most points will advance through the series. There will also be a new update for Forza Motorsport 7, giving viewers new spectate and grid features.
"I think it's a mistake for us to mirror real-world racing. Because at the end of the day, real-world racing has somebody's life on the line," Greenwalt said.
For Greenawalt, he feels there are some unique advantages in the simulation world, ones that he thinks traditional racing fans could find novel.
"The most fertile ground is not to be looking at what's impossible, but what's impractical," Greenawalt said. While it's possible for the simulation to work on Pluto or the moon, that's taking it too far for the Forza team.
"When you start getting into track design, you start getting into a really interesting place. Where it's plausible, real physics, it could happen on earth. If you had trillions of dollars and the will, you could go build it. But you never would because it's impractical. That's the space where I think we get into something really interesting," Greenawalt said.
Series 1 will begin on April 2nd. Broadcasts can be found every other Wednesday on Microsoft's Mixer streaming service.