I love it when games are inspired by games that are nothing like them. Take sports games, and how they're up to their eyeballs in RPG mechanics like character creation and levelling. Or driving games.
Gran Turismo 5 is inspired by elevator music, for example, while it seems Forza 4 —according to Turn 10 creative director Dan Greenawalt, at least—is inspired by some unlikely video games.
"I tend to look at the other franchises that are not thinking about themselves as a competitive war in the marketplace—they think about a longer vision and the experience they want to provide to people."
"So, we take inspiration from Pokémon for our levelling systems and addictive layer rewards and variable schedule for rewards to get people addicted. World of Warcraft for our Auction House. Storefronts was from Yahoo Stores."
Hopefully Pokémon can return the favour next time that series swings around.
Interview: Forza Motorsport 4 Creative Director Dan Greenawalt [God is a Geek, thanks Bruce!]