What the heck is going on with Gran Turismo and why aren't people talking about it?

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bigsocrates

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Gran Turismo was once the king of console sim style racing games, and arguably the racing genre as a whole. It has sold almost 100 million copies across its various iterations and is known for offering incredible graphical fidelity and attention to details related to cars and stuff surrounding them.

It was also largely absent from the PS4 generation, even though the one release it did have, a non-numbered stripped down version called Gran Turismo Sport, sold millions of copies even though it was non-numbered and stripped down.

Gran Turismo 7 is still in active development and announced for PS5 so the series is still active, but almost missing a whole console generation, during which the Forza series put out a mainline game every 2 years and a Horizon game on alternate years, just seems insane to me. Gran Turismo 7 was supposed to be a PS4 game but it just kind of got quietly delayed off the console over a period of time. On the one hand it's clear that what's going on is they're making another Gran Turismo game, but it's unclear why it's taking so incredibly long and why there's virtually no buzz or discussion around it.

Now obviously the Gran Turismo series has never released as frequently as Forza, but it's been a pretty active series since its inception. Even though there was a 6 year gap between Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 5 there were 3 smaller Gran Turismo projects released during that time period so the franchise was still around. The PS4 is the first Playstation console (other than the Vita) with minimal GT support and it doesn't look like GT 7 is going to be an early PS5 game.

Is the series just not a priority for Sony anymore? Is Polyphony Digital just a dysfunctional developer that's too obsessed with getting details right so that they can't put out games at a reasonable clip? Is GT 7 going to redefine racing games the way the first Gran Turismo game did so those things take time?

I just don't get what's going on. Gran Turismo Sport was an okay game, but it wasn't a huge Gran Turismo experience of the kind I actually want, but I also don't see a lot of people talking about the series anymore. It's not considered a key Sony property, which is strange for me considering that when the games do come out they sell high 7 to low 8 figure digits in games. They have a massive fan base.

Does anyone know what's going on with the series? Does anyone care?

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navster15

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#2 navster15  Online

By my understanding, Polyphony is very much a details and tech obsessed production house, to the point of individually recording engine noises for each car in their games. That combined with the fact that each entry practically prints money they can take their time with each new game. That might be a bummer for players, but it’s not like there aren’t any other sim racers on the market, including Project CARS on PS4.

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liquiddragon

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#3  Edited By liquiddragon

They struggled w the transition to hd like many Japanese developers in the PS3/360 era w GT5 and production cycles have naturally become protracted as development has gotten more complex. Other then that, they seemed to be trucking along fine. The lowest selling mainline GT, GT6 is neck to neck w the highest selling Forza (Forza 3) so as much as ppl like to give GT shit, Forza isn’t really in its league. Sim racers just aren’t the next gen showcasing products anymore. Not like Forza has being burning it up. Literally all the Forza Motorsports this gen have been duds w the Horizon spin offs picking up some slack but in terms of numbers, they’re really not that impressive either.

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superslidetail

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I'm excited but being patient for GT7 but I'm hoping they bring back the single player career mode as I don't care for multiplayer. I'm currently replaying GT1 and will move through the rest of the mainline games. I never owned GT5 and 6 until recently so I'm excited to check those out finally. I never bought GT Sport because I think that's an online only game?

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OurSin_360

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It selling more with each copy doesn't really negate the increased production costs they have with how long they are taking to make the games. Forza is probably making more profit tbh.

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liquiddragon

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#6  Edited By liquiddragon

@oursin_360: there is really no evidence of this. Forza games are on a 2 year development cycle. Not like there is no cost associated w this and they haven’t been selling very well this gen.

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ToughShed

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Sony ruined GT as the marquee racing franchise years ago with that PS3 game that was a trainwreck and took forever to come out.

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Gundato

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Sony seem to collect studios with incredibly long development times and "okay" sales. If I had to hazard a guess I would say it is because those tend to be niche enough that they sell systems

Folk will buy a PS5, at least in part, because they can expect something from team ico or the GT folk. I suspect they were trying similar with Kojima and Shenmue but the market changed enough during those that it just became console exclusives

But back in the day: Pay for a small/medium size studio's rent for a decade and get a decent number of sales from the hardcore fans of those games who MIGHT get a game that generation and their friends who are stuck getting the same console for multiplayer purposes.

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whitegreyblack

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Other studios have been able to put out plenty of games that are arguably better at catering to the specific niches (the level of arcade or simulation) that GT just kind of broadly straddles. By the time a single GT title releases, some other franchises are already putting out their 2nd or even 3rd title in their respective series!

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inevpatoria

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@oursin_360: Forza games are on a 2 year development cycle. Not like there is no cost associated w this and they haven’t been selling very well this gen.

You should probably fact check yourself before throwing this kind of statement around. The NPD charts the Forza franchise as the best-selling racing franchise since 2012 and has clocked each successive release as having sold more than the last. Forza Horizon 4, for instance, was the fastest-selling installment of the series.

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Shindig

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#11  Edited By Shindig

'Best selling racing franchise' is a very qualified moniker. GT Sport was good. The structure of the games gets mixed about now and it seems they're not really sure what they want to do with it. GT Sport was very eSport focused and it sounds like GT7's more a 'traditional' GT. Even within that framework, they've tried different ideas with progression and stuff.

Forza, I'm done with. I've played five of those in a decade and I've seen everything that series can give. Seeing the event list in 3 onwards is so daunting and you don't get much in return.

That's the thing I miss from the old Gran Turismos. The idea that you can move from event to event without spending a dime on cars. They lost that after 4.

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inevpatoria

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#12  Edited By inevpatoria

@shindig said:

'Best selling racing franchise' is a very qualified moniker.

I mean, it's a niche genre already even amongst fellow sports games (and one that includes Gran Turismo, for what it's worth), so comparing it apples-to-apples to other mainstream franchises is kind of a stilted argument anyway.

If you're honestly looking for that kind of metric, Forza Horizon 3's NPD numbers from 2017 clocked in at 2.5 million copies sold through at retail. That's a little more than a quarter of what Grand Theft Auto V did on the Xbox platform alone and roughly half the performance of platform-sibling Halo 5. Those aren't blow-the-doors off numbers, of course, but they serve as a worthy rebuttal to the notion that Forza doesn't sell. Which is categorically wrong.

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liquiddragon

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#13  Edited By liquiddragon

@inevpatoria: did you link me to the right article? None of what you claimed is backed up by it. Statements like “Forza Horizon 4 achieved the highest launch month dollar sales in Forza franchise history” literally means next to nothing. Do you not see the spin? That sentence means nothing. It’s a sign that the actual number isn’t great. That says something about FH4 and the series. They are always pretty vague cuz ppl always compare it to GT, good or bad, and they just can’t compete w hard numbers.

“Biggest launch for a racing game on any Xbox platform in history.” Yeah, it better be when they r giving it away free on game pass. 🤣

“The fastest-selling game in the series” is 1, relative to the series, which again, doesn’t set the world on fire and 2, really doesn’t mean anything. Final Fantasy 13 and 15 were both reported as “fastest selling in the series” but in the end, didn’t touch ff7 or ffx. And how fast does the series sell? Is being fastest in this particular series even impressive? Lastly, what is a “sell” to MS these days? Are they counting game pass?

Forza 3 is still the best selling Forza and there is nothing suggesting otherwise.

They logged 2 million players after a week w game pass included. What did they sell? A mil? That’s not impressive even by the franchise’s standards.

Could you link me to the npd article that says Forza franchise is the best-selling racing franchise since 2012 and has clocked each successive release as having sold more than the last? I can’t find it. First part part I guess I could believe as racers are not a premier genre anymore and MS has pooped out so many Forzas. The 2nd part? Ehh doubt it.

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tds418

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Forza happened.

Seriously, if you love console based car sims, why would you have not grabbed an Xbox at some point? The driving mechanics in Forza are a joy at this point after all the years of refinement (seriously, I honestly marvel at how amazing the controller rumbling of all things in Forza Horizon 4 is), and you can always hop into one of the also-excellent Horizon games if you want something a little breezier.

MS clearly is more invested in racing games than Sony at this point, and the Forza Motorsports games have a lot of overlap with GT in terms of tracks, cars, etc. So I'm not sure what besides brand loyalty would keep people locked in to GT.

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Shindig

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The market's different now. It's not just GT vs Forza. It's (for better and worse) the Codemasters stuff, Slightly Mad (before Codemasters absorbed them), Kuounos have brought their stuff to console and so forth.

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BlatantSaveScum

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I'm hoping to play a fully-featured GT on PS5 that will rival the good times with GT4. The E-sports focus of GT Sport wasn't what I was looking for. Fingers crossed that the new GT launches before the halfway point of the new generation.

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Shindig

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I'm hoping for more oddities. Stuff like this is too fun.

Loading Video...

Give us all of the banned F1 technologies like the six-wheelers, CVT, active suspension and the Brabham fan car.

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csl316

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#18  Edited By csl316

It's an interesting question to me, as I played the hell out of 2 and 3 and haven't played one since. As a top tier first party franchise, I should be keeping an eye on it. But I'm more inclined to buy something like Need for Speed: Heat before GT. Or that amazing CTR remake.

I've also never played a Forza: Motorsport game, despite playing the last 3 Horizon games. I suppose that just tells me that I'm not into racing sims anymore. Or any sims, for that matter, as I haven't played a sports sim in over a decade.

I suppose it's a matter of knowing what you're getting and me spending so much time with those games as a teen. Back then there were less games to play and I could race around Trial Mountain a thousand times. Now... well, there's more stuff to spend time on.

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Seikenfreak

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#19  Edited By Seikenfreak

I think it's just the nature of Polyphony and the evolution/timing of Sony hardware releases. In my opinion, the team at Polyphony lean more into the quality end of the spectrum when compared to Forza. As far as I'm concerned, the only meaningful change that Forza has had was the introduction of the Horizon branch of games. And I don't think you'd even directly compare that to GT as Horizon is a different type of racing game. As far as Motorsport goes, it's been the same game, the same actual car models (a lot of them look really bad and exactly as they did in Forza 4 or earlier), and minor tweaks to the menu interface if anything. Yea, they spit out new entries every two years.. because they hardly change anything. It's like FIFA or Madden at this point.

For better or worse, Polyphony seems intent on reinventing the wheel when new hardware comes around. It makes for a stellar showcase of Sony's hardware. We can hope that since PS5 hardware is much more similar to the PS4, that they can continue to build on the engine and back end of the work already done with GT Sport, and further expand on it with GT7. From the little we've seen of 7, honestly it just looked like the same visuals as Sport to me. Which is fine, because their tech looks incredible and all they need to do is lock in the framerate (they'll of course try for some special 120hz mode here) and add a couple more extra bells and whistles in the visual/audio department (raytracing etc). Content wise, they want to churn out as many cars as possible at an extremely high fidelity level. Apparently it takes them months to make a car. News in recent months/years has shown that Polyphony started hiring outside contractors to help with car modelling, so that's good news, because the cars have still been created to that amazing level.

Plus, they deliberately showed the classic "GT" style career/menu setup so this is most definitely going back in that direction. My guess is it'll just also have a very good online mode now since they mostly figured that out with Sport. I have not played a racing game online with the awesome ease of matchmaking and high skill level (*in the higher player ratings) other than iRacing, and that's expensive and different.

Be patient. I had hoped it was a launch title but I guess not. Excited for it's release.

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wardcleaver

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#20  Edited By wardcleaver

Short answer, for me: Forza

I played alot of GT3, slightly less of GT4. After that it was mostly Forza and the Codemaster's rally games.

Polyphony seemed to be going for a quantity over quality thing that never mattered to me., something that could be bullet-pointed on the back of the case. To me this was particularly apparent with GT6, and its low-res PS2-era cars and tracks.

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Shindig

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The car count definitely went into ridiculous territory. Seemed like they got into an arms race with themselves and it peaked with GT5/6's 1000 strong garage of Skylines and Subarus.

It felt like it happened suddenly too. GT3 had 150, GT4 was over 700.

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#22  Edited By ThePanzini

Polyphony used to do pretty much most of the devlopment in house its why it took so long, but with GT Sport they started outsourcing the car modelling Source GT7 should come a lot quicker.

Labeling Polyphony dysfunctional is quite funny considering they made GT Sport with far fewer people.

Forza Horizon 4 had 1781 developers working on it, compared to GT Sport's 914.

Sony has not given any numbers on GT Sport but a few sites that track players based on trophy data I think, the ball park figure is around 12m much higher than either Forza.

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norm9

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#23  Edited By norm9

I prefer Gran Turismo (played 4) over Forza (played 6) and am hoping there's a proper full game intead of a GT Sport version for the ps5.

eta- Gran Turismo is my "I'll buy a system for a game" for the PS5.

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tds418

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It's hard for me to buy the argument that Forza Motorsport is somehow lesser solely because they spin out games every couple years (which is not actually true now, FM7 was 2017 and the next one is 2021 at the earliest). Yes, it's the same tracks and cars. But that's because it's a sim, they can't just invent new tracks that don't exist (well, they do, but you get the point). I'm sure GT5 had Laguna Seca just like GT3 did, and so on. To some extent, the tracks and cars are a given, and the actual iteration is going to go into other things, like the graphics, driving mechanics, UI, multiplayer experience, etc. It's also exactly why they started the Horizon series - so they can actually make brand new stuff as well.

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I remember GT1, GT2, and GT3 so fondly. After searching all over town to find a copy for sale, I played GT1 on my little brother's Playstation when I was home from college. Once I'd gotten my own Playstation, GT2 was the only thing I was interested in. The first two games were, of course, phenomenal. There was nothing else like them at the time, and I spent hundreds of hours racing, upgrading cars, and racing some more.

As a nearly broke college senior trying to make it through one last semester, my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) generously bought GT3 for me, knowing how excited I was about it. Somehow, I still managed to graduate.

And then I switched to Forza and never looked back. And I have no idea why. Looking at the dates, GT4 was released roughly 3 months ahead of the first Forza game, so I don't know why I wouldn't have bought it. Instead, I guess I held out and bought Forza.

These days, I find that something about the GT games just rubs me the wrong way. I think it has to do with the audio. Despite all the stories about the devs going out to racetracks to record real cars, they never sound good to me. Maybe it's not the engines - maybe it's the tire squeals. I dunno.

In any case, I haven't really thought about Gran Turismo in years, until this thread came up. To answer the OP's questions, I don't know what's going on, and I guess I don't care. I'm not sure if I should be sad about that, or what.

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Nodima

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@shindig said:

The car count definitely went into ridiculous territory. Seemed like they got into an arms race with themselves and it peaked with GT5/6's 1000 strong garage of Skylines and Subarus.

It felt like it happened suddenly too. GT3 had 150, GT4 was over 700.

I mean, the series has always aspired to have a metric fuck ton of cars. One of the primary complaints about GT3 at the time was that they reduced the car count so significantly. At the time Polyphony claimed that the increased fidelity of the graphics and sound processing on the PS2 meant they needed to go back to GT1 numbers to deliver the same leap forward for the genre as that game had.

As a game that received basically zero criticism otherwise, I'm sure Polyphony made a vow internally to never reduce the car count again, and I'm sure those huge car counts are a big contributor to the long lead times between releases.

I haven't played a Gran Turismo game since 3 but I think I'd really like to give whatever 7 winds up being a shot. I feel like the combination of graphics, sound and controller technology shifts has positioned Polyphony to be a real leader in forward thinking uses of those technologies.

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#27  Edited By BioFork

PC gaming is more accessible than ever, so for people who are serious about simulators that's a much better option. There's also the fact that consoles tend to be CPU bound, which only lets them do so much on a simulation level. That leaves it in the "sim-cade" territory.

Personally, I've always loved the GT games as a package. Polyphony does a great job at putting together music and the different modes, like the driving academy. No other racing game does this as well as they do. Usually you get a very sterile menu that's just barely functional. GT games give you something to explore and dive into, which is unique.

The part where it starts to fall apart for me is the driving. I just don't like the way the games feel. The engines sound very sterile and same-y. The cars make the same squealing sounds when you turn. Something about the driving model makes it feel monotonous and predictable.

There's also the fact that there's so many more options for driving games these days. There's the Dirt franchise and the various Codemasters games, Forza as well as the hardcore sims (iRacing, rfactor). I still buy the GT games just for the package and experience, but there are much better options when it comes to actually driving.

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Shindig

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Dare I say they got bikes right as well.

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#29  Edited By Seikenfreak

I'd be curious to hear from some of you that have been disappointed in the sound if you've played Sport. They definitely stepped up the audio in that release. Again, in my opinion, they've done a great job in making them sound like their real counterparts. And the old joke about tire squeals no longer holds true.

The other end of this argument is that people seem to think Forza sounds "better" but for the most part, the main difference is they just make every car sound like it has a straight exhaust. They're incredibly loud but often doesn't capture the detail of the real ones. I imagine to a lot of people loud = easier to hear = more realistic. I've owned a number of cars in real life, some have been these games, and have been around plenty of others. I can assure you, GT gets much closer to the real thing. Every car may not sound like a race car, but that doesn't mean it isn't good. And changing the exhaust on Forza doesn't do anything either. Every car sounds like it has straight pipes out of the box.

Anyway, yea tl;dr I'd be curious if you former GT people tried out the newest release.

P.S. - I'll never understand why GT3 gets so much love. I just assume it's because it was a PS2 launch title I guess and more casual car enthusiasts prefer a less overwhelming variety in cars. And the visuals. As far as I'm concerned, it's just a super stripped down GT. No point in playing it these days.

@shindig Still waiting for another Tourist Trophy. More than ever because I just bought my first motorcycle ('78 Honda CB750) and got my license.

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Brendan

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I don't think what you're seeing with Grand Turismo is unique to that franchise. Grand Theft Auto, Elder Scrolls, kind-sorta Final Fantasy (FF15 was in development since PS3 era?) have all basically skipped an entire generation for a variety of reasons.

Wild that with complexity of game development we've gone from multiple entries per generation to less than one in many cases.

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thesquarepear

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#31  Edited By thesquarepear

Seems like Sony tried Drive Club but it didn't work out.

You might find a worthy sim racing game in Assetto Corsa Competizione

Forza Horizon is pretty great but I got really bummed out by the microtransaction plague in Forza Motorsport 6.

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monkeyking1969

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Meh, Polyphony has always been like this since after Motor Tune. They put thing out on their own schedule and when they want. Since Grant Turismo titles always sell, very well if not sometimes enormously, no matter what over the past 20+ years Sony never micro manages them.

I would say, it is refreshing to see games made with no firm deadlines and with little care if the fans "think" they know when something shoudl come out. because most developers don't take the time. If "Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011 )" then in the same way "Yamauchi Dreams Cars".

The car games Polyphone/Yamauchi makes are not for everyone, And, I think Forza is a good game. But come on, when Yamauchi talks about his games you know you are talking to a guy who "drives" cars. This is not a man that just programs simulations of cars.

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Shindig

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8 million copies sold for GT Sport. That bucks a trend of falling sales from the PS3 days. Just the one million shy of GT2.

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Seikenfreak

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@shindig: I'd say that's impressive considering it's mostly an online competitive racer/esports platform, more so at launch.

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ToughShed

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The car games Polyphone/Yamauchi makes are not for everyone, And, I think Forza is a good game. But come on, when Yamauchi talks about his games you know you are talking to a guy who "drives" cars. This is not a man that just programs simulations of cars.

lol yeah the forza guys have never drove cars, they ride the bus.

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peacebrother

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#36  Edited By peacebrother

GT Sport is a pretty fantastic and successful game, it's basically second only to iRacing in terms of ranked competitive online racing games. Perhaps from the perspective of casual racing game players who are into career progression the GT series has gone off track, but GT Sport is a great thing if you're into actually racing other people.

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north6

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“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again. Fool me one more time after that, you must be making a new Gran Turismo game.”

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monkeyking1969

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@monkeyking1969 said:

The car games Polyphone/Yamauchi makes are not for everyone, And, I think Forza is a good game. But come on, when Yamauchi talks about his games you know you are talking to a guy who "drives" cars. This is not a man that just programs simulations of cars.

lol yeah the forza guys have never drove cars, they ride the bus.




When we say Yamauchi dives cars, we mean he drives his own cars on race tracks. When we say he 'drives cars' we mean he owns or has owned the following sporst and track cars:

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota Supra
  • Nissan 300ZX
  • Nissan GT-R (R32)
  • Mitsubishi FTO
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5
  • Honda S2000
  • Porsche 911 GT3 (996)
  • Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG
  • Ford GT
  • Nissan GT-R (R35)

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navster15

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#39 navster15  Online

@monkeyking1969: It does appear that Turn 10 has its fair share of racing fans, given how the studio’s parking lot is described in this Ars article:

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/10/a-trip-to-turn-10-the-forza-studio-merging-car-culture-with-games/2/

Some of those cars are absolutely hitting the track on weekends. Can I point to an equivalent to Yamauchi? No, but just means he’s unusually wealthy for a game dev, and people with less money can also be passionate about cars and racing.

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#40  Edited By Jtwo

I do think the future the GT franchise is at least somewhat connected to the future of PSVR.

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ev77

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GT just shifted to e-sports this generation. Not necessarily a bad thing (IMO), as others have pointed out it has an incredible online mode that you can get literally 1000s of hours out of. But for those that want a more offline racer, they have even put in a ton of new content that is single player (both in terms of racing AI and trying to "master" courses). Still not like the traditional GT game of starting out with a beater and slowly upgrading and purchasing slightly better cars as you go up the ranks; but aside from that the majority of the pieces are still there.