Update: Gran Turismo 7 has achieved the unfortunate accolade of having the lowest Metacritic user score in Sony exclusive history. The score of 2.2 – which is still falling – puts it below the likes of Cool Boarders 2001 on PS1. It’s a sharp message from fans (and, presumably, some trolls) that Polyphony Digital has work to do.
Original Story: The reception to Gran Turismo 7 was overwhelmingly positive up until this week, but a series of unforced errors have prompted the reputation of the simulation racer to plummet. Following a patch – which adjusted the release’s in-game currency payouts, and then ultimately broke the game – fans have been taking to sites like Metacritic to review bomb the title.
At the time of writing, it commands 2.5/10 User Score, with many of the harsher appraisals arriving in the past few days. “If you are a casual player like me, you are f****d,” one person wrote. “Microtransactions are present and some cars are impossible to buy without real money or insane grind. You cannot play the game without an Internet connection!”
Another said: “So the cars you cannot afford in real life are not affordable in this s**t game as well! Don't buy any more Gran Turismo 7 and let them know what they will lose!” This is a reference to series creator Kazunori Yamauchi’s recent statement, in which he said that he wants the price of in-game cars to reflect their “value and rarity” in real-life.
In a controversial statement, Yamauchi explained: “In Gran Turismo 7 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 Gran Turismo 7 a game in which you can enjoy a variety of cars 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.”
A patch this week reduced the pay-out of popular “farming” spots by as much as half, potentially pushing players towards controversial microtransactions to top up their currency. Gran Turismo 7 allows you to pay real-money for denominations of Credits, which you can then use to purchase virtual vehicles.
It sounds like Polyphony Digital has plans to rebalance the game’s economy as it adds additional events and content, but obviously it can’t outline its entire roadmap right now: “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 Gran Turismo 7 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.”
Of course the situation hasn’t been helped by the fact that the patch released to revise the title’s economy ended up breaking the entire game, taking the servers offline for over 24 hours. Polyphony Digital then did a poor job of communicating what was happening, and as the title requires an Internet connection even for single player content, it rendered the £70/$70 racer largely unplayable.
It’s now up to the Tokyo-based developer to restore goodwill. It feels like a long time ago now, but Gran Turismo 7 was well received when it released around two weeks ago, and the feedback has been unanimously positive since. We do think Polyphony Digital’s going to come good in the end, but this week has proven a harsh lesson for the legendary team.