Whatever Happened To Gran Turismo HD's DLC Model?

When we visited Gran Turismo creators Polyphony Digital in 2006, president Kazunori Yamauchi previewed what would become Gran Turismo HD, the first "real driving simulation" for the PlayStation 3 that would offer 770 cars and 50 tracks for download.

At the time, Yamauchi called it "the GT version of iTunes," letting players buy the barebones Gran Turismo HD Classic, the download more than 5,000 pieces of content to expand upon the game. That idea was scrapped in favour of a freely downloadable Gran Turismo HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

With gamers warming up to the option of downloadable content over the course of the current console generation, we'd think the market might be ready for that kind of model for a Gran Turismo game. But Polyphony Digital went back to the formula of previous entries for its newest, Gran Turismo for the PSP. It packs in 800 cars and over 30 tracks.

I asked Kazunori Yamauchi at E3 what brought about that change in philosophy.

"It's not so major as to call it a philosophy," Yamauchi said. He indicated it's just simply a change in plans.

He said it's not Polyphony Digital's job to dictate business decisions, saying "It's our job to develop great games."

Whether it was cool reception to Gran Turismo becoming some sort of pay to play status symbol or just a preference to stick to the old model of huge fleets of cars and tracks, we don't really know.

How have your tastes changed? Would you be more willing to download by the car today than three or four years ago?


    I'd have to disagree with you on the "gamers warming up to DLC" remark. I can't stand DLC. It's insulting enough to have to pay $100+ for a game. Then to be forced to pay extra for content that is released the day after the game hit's stores, or even to access a multiplayer option is just teaching distributors that you can rush an unfinished game to stores and make more money with "extra" content that would have been included on last generation games. I understand that cost for production on new-gen games is much greater then previous-gen games, but not to the extent that 1 level should be worth $12 (as an example). I loved The Force Unleashed, but the game was by everyone's standards short, and then being told I can download an "Amazing level that tells more of the story" for $15, that just seems like I'm being taken for a ride. Or maybe the DLC delivery systems are charging to much and the producers need to negotiate with the middle man.
    (Places 2 cents on floor and walks away)

      I think that Michael's comment on 'gamers warming up to DLC' should be more read as 'gamers, as a generalization, are warming up to DLC'. I personally agree with every one of your comments on DLC, and I find most forms of DLC offered to be insulting in regards to asked price for what you're actually getting in return (especially when it comes to EA, and Capcom recently).

      However, people (again, used as a generalization) really are warming to the idea of DLC. Lost & the Damned seems to have done great guns for Rockstar and Microsoft, which must mean people are purchasing it. And EA's 'unlock keys' seem to be doing well enough for them to keep it up between iterations of their sports titles, despite how despicable a business practice it is. And unfortunately, hardcore/core/whatever-you-want-to-call-them gamers just aren't the biggest target for DLC, for the most part. While we may find most DLC options despicable or not worth our hard-earned $, the mainstream are happy to fork out $5-10 bucks for horse armour.

      Besides, if Polyphony Digital had've gone forward with the Gran Turismo DLC model, and if it was the only available option for the game, the hardcore GT fans would still fork out the money for the content that they wanted, albeit begrudgingly. Or they'd start an angry petition on the net, thinking it'd change something, while Polyphony Digital swim around in a big pool of money. ^^

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