An online writer who is also an avid geek to automotive, video games, and anime. Have a soft spot for racing games
On March 4th, Polyphony Digital released Gran Turismo 7. The first numbered Gran Turismo sequel since Gran Turismo 6, it is one of the anticipated gaming titles since its reveal back in 2021. After Gran Turismo Sport’s shift to be e-Sport focused, a new GT title with the classic formula that makes the game stands out is something worth waiting for.
At the start, the game enjoys a smooth run. The game even tops the UK physical sales three days after its launch.
It wasn't until two weeks later.
It all started with Update 1.07, which was released on March 18th. Unbeknownst to Polyphony Digital, the update broke the game, rendering the game unplayable for 34 hours. The 1.08 update, however, resulted in even larger disaster as the update “fixed” the game’s economy, cutting the amount of earnings gained from grindable races.
Post update, the game drove negative reactions from players due to reduced payouts, culminating with dissatisfied fans review bombing the game. As this article was still in writing, the game generated a user score of 1.6 on Metacritic, making GT7 Sony’s lowest-rated game ever.
So, what actually happened? Well, ask players who have played the game and they will agree that it’s extremely grindy, a problem stemmed from the game’s overpriced contents.
Gran Turismo 7 director Kazunori Yamauchi said that the pricing of cars is important for the sake of vehicle value and rarity. At the same time, Yamauchi wants to avoid players’ reliance with microtransactions that cut the fun. The question appears: how to balance the affordability and the realistic pricing of the cars available in the game.
I mean, what’s the purpose of playing a video game? When it comes to racing games, people play because they want to drive their dream cars albeit on polygonal roads. And realistic car price is something that they wish to avoid.
Now the earnings. Like previous Gran Turismo installments, you win races, you get money. Here, players are complaining about the low prize money. Even worse, the newest update slashes the amount of prize money, meaning you have to play for much longer just to grind credits.
To rub salt into the wounds, players can’t sell the prize cars either. This is not a new issue as it also occurs in the previous title Gran Turismo Sport. So, players have two options on making money here: grinding for days or even months or taking the short route of purchasing in-game credits with real-life money. And if you’re not into grinding, the latter option seemed more viable.
The problem doesn’t stop there.
The update 1.07 incident has highlighted how troublesome the always online requirement could be. It made GT7 somewhat unplayable offline, with lots of the game’s contents were locked behind the internet requirement.
PD officially states that GT7 needs to be always online to prevent cheating. Given the fact that Gran Turismo has become Sony’s premium title in the e-Sports scene, the reason might be understandable. Unfortunately, worse scenarios such as data loss or extended maintenance do exist and could happen anytime.
The bottom line: overpriced cars and always online requirement cripple Gran Turismo so hard. The series is facing dark times and the best thing they can do is to address flaws that render the game less playable.
Fortunately, they act fast. The early update to be released in April will bring numerous fixes such as increased rewards as well as increased quantity of used cars. PD will also consider the ability to sell cars and more grindable races in the future.
As a longtime GT fan, it really pains me that the Gran Turismo 7 has to end like this. Started in a glorious way, it ended up being slammed due to issues that come at the expense of enjoyment of a racing game. The best thing PD can do is do their best in fixing problems plaguing the game and restore the series to its former glory.
And, I hope they will.
© 2022 Muhammad Azka Prasetya