A surprise announcement came from the New York International Auto Show today. Microsoft’s Turn 10 Studios – the creators of the Forza Motorsport series – has teamed with Porsche for a six-year partnership that will result in several initiatives for the racing game franchise. That began with the release of the Forza Horizon 3 Porsche Car Pack which adds seven legendary Porsche cars to your in-game garage. Open registration began today for the Forza Racing Championship Season 3: The Porsche Cup.

Porsche executive Detlev von Platen shared his thoughts about the new partnership with Forza. “By having Microsoft as our partner, we have the opportunity to take the pleasure of driving a Porsche and making it an experience in the virtual world”, he said. “Racing games and esports connect the real and virtual worlds and enable us to gain further access to the young target group. It means that they can develop a passion for Porsche even before buying their first sports car”.

This partnership is a big deal in the racing game community. For several years Electronic Arts had an exclusive contract with Porsche which created hurdles for racing game developers who wished to include their vehicles.