Gran Turismo 7 – What is Going On?

Excessive grinding, microtransactions, reduced credit rewards, and server troubles paint a worrying future for this excellent racing sim.

Posted By | On 21st, Mar. 2022

Gran Turismo 7 – What is Going On?

When series producer Kazunori Yamauchi appeared in trailers leading up to Gran Turismo 7’s State of Play, there was an air of solemn reverence. Of dignity for the game’s vision – to be a racing title where realistic physics and driving meshed with gorgeous visuals and a deep appreciation for car culture. It was a testament to the fan base, which reacted positively to all of these announcements – that despite the ups and downs throughout the decades, there was still some goodwill towards Polyphony Digital and Yamauchi. However, no amount of goodwill lasts forever and the weeks since the title’s launch have served to test both longtime fans and newcomers.

Gran Turismo 7 released on March 4th. In the days leading up to launch, it received numerous rave reviews praising the visuals, the racing, the depth and the sheer amount of effort that went into making it one of the best racing simulators of all time. Fans who finally got their hands on the game were similarly enthralled and enjoyed it as the first true mainline entry since 2013’s Gran Turismo 6.

Shortly after launch, things got shaky. The in-game store, which had been disabled for reviewers, had finally gone live. Players could now purchase Credits, a valuable resource for acquiring cars and parts, for real money. The rates ranged from 100,000 Credits for $2.50 to two million Credits for $20. Some cars cost several million Credits so it’s understandable why fans could be upset at this move (and adding this in after all of the positive reviews certainly didn’t help the developer’s cause). It also didn’t help that some vehicles that could be purchased for $3 in Gran Turismo Sport would now require spending up to $40 to obtain.

Why? Because there’s no one million Credits option in the microtransactions. You either have to buy two packs of two million Credits or a two million pack coupled with two packs of 750,000 Credits. Either way, you were spending $40 for a single car (in this case, the Porsche 919 Hybrid 16). Again, this single car could be yours for just $3 in Gran Turismo Sport.

Fans weren’t happy but hey, it’s not the first time that microtransactions have been added to a triple-A game, that too one that costs $70. Players could simply find the shortest races (relatively speaking) with the highest payouts and farm those continuously. No harm, no foul. And so they did…until Polyphony Digital revealed the latest update in patch 1.07.

On the one hand, it increased the amount of Credits that could be earned for two of the longer races – the World Touring Car 800: 24 heures du Mans Racing Circuit and World Touring Car 800: Monza Circuit – from 5,000 to 75,000 Credits. However, it decreased the payout for 16 others, some by more than 50 percent. Fancied earning 65,000 Credits from GT Cup Gr. 4: High-Speed Ring? You’ll now get 35,000 Credits. The Dirt Champions: Sardegna Windmills race, which also provided 65,000 Credits? It’s now worth 40,000 Credits.

Gran Turismo 7

For many players, the message was pretty clear – either spend time grinding out Credits to acquire new vehicles or pay up to access them. The existence of Legend Cars which cost exorbitant amounts of Credits and cycle out on a regular basis, along with the game sending “invitations” to cash-strapped players to purchase them, further rubbed salt in the wound. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

On March 17th, servers went offline for scheduled maintenance. However, it went on for slightly longer than usual. Polyphony Digital provided an update, noting that an “issue” in patch 1.07 had resulted in server maintenance being extended. After 32 hours of downtime, the servers came back on line. Due to the majority of the content requiring online connectivity and – the most important part – working servers, players were relegated to playing Drift Trial, Music Rally, Single Race, and Time Trial, that too with just 13 cars. And no,you can’t unlock any more while offline.

So to summarize – microtransactions were added to Gran Turismo 7 to “help” fans cut down on the grind for cars. Once players found the shortest races to quickly farm Credits, patch 1.07 was released to cut those earnings, making it even harder to purchase cars and further pushing them to microtransactions Then a major issue caused the servers to go offline so fans couldn’t even access the parts of the game they’re meant to grind for acquiring cars or purchase any Credits. It’s a comedy of errors, except no one is laughing. The backlash has since poured over to Metacritic where user reviews have dropped to 3.4, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews.”

Gran Turismo 7_11

What’s especially unfortunate about all of this is that these same fans aren’t raging about Gran Turismo 7’s gameplay.That’s the one part that continues to receive praise (progression bugs and other issues aside). Some have expressed criticism towards the lack of campaign content after GT Cafe is finished, or RNG with the Roulette Spin, and whatnot. But before patch 1.07, these felt like small issues in the grand scheme of things. Fans got extensive tuning options. They got new modes and a dedicated campaign after years of waiting. Polyphony Digital didn’t just promise to add more content – it followed up on this by adding new features like Broadcast Mode and additional music tracks for Music Replay in just two weeks.

After servers came back online, producer Kazunori Yamauchi said in a recent update that the downtime was due to an issue that would cause players’ games to not start properly. Due to being a rare issue that was “not seen during tests on the development hardware or the QA sessions prior to the release,” patch 1.07’s release was interrupted and patch 1.08 went live instead.

Yamauchi also explained the reasoning for event rewards being “adjusted,” stating that, “In GT7, I would like to have users enjoy lots of cars and races even without microtransactions. At the same time the pricing of cars is an important element that conveys their value and rarity, so I do think it’s important for it to be linked with the real world prices. I want to make GT7 a game in which you can enjoy a variety of cars in lots of different ways, and if possible would like to try to avoid a situation where a player must mechanically keep replaying certain events over and over again.

“We will in time let you know the update plans for additional content, additional race events and additional features that will constructively resolve this. It pains me that I can’t explain the details regarding this at this moment, but we plan on continuing to revise GT7 so that as many players as possible can enjoy the game. We would really appreciate it if everyone could watch over the growth of Gran Turismo 7 from a somewhat longer term point of view.”

Gran Turismo 7

The question now is: Where does the game go from here? Polyphony Digital will likely loosen up a bit in the future, either expanding on the paying options for cars or increasing the intake of Credits. It wouldn’t be strange if there’s some push from Sony to do this. Destruction AllStars, of all games, was slated to be a $70 title, which attracted a significant amount of criticism from potential PS5 customers. Lo and behold, following the game’s delay, it was offered free for two months on PlayStation Plus and had its price dropped to a far more reasonable $20. That being said, more offline options or the removal of microtransactions from Gran Turismo 7 is looking very unlikely at present.

Nevertheless, it can still recover from this misstep. GT7 is a good racing simulator and overall, a very good game at the end of the day. Players wanting more content is always a given. Certain features being lackluster will always be an issue among the more hardcore fan base. Bugs will never die – even as old ones are eradicated, new ones will surface in subsequent updates as patch 1.07 and the 32 hour server maintenance have proven.

If there’s one thing that Polyphony Digital has showcased with games like Gran Turismo Sport, it’s that it can support a title for the long haul and make it much better than its launch version. The same will likely happen with Gran Turismo 7, even if so much of this could have been avoided right off the bat. In the meantime, it needs to work on regaining some of that goodwill from long-time fans in the short-time and renew some faith in the brand.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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