Gran Turismo Sport Gets Microtransactions A Year After Series Producer Said It Wouldn't

Screenshot: Sony, Gran Turismo Sport

Gran Turismo Sport’s July update is now live, adding a new race track and more cars. It’s also introduced microtransactions, something the series producer said last winter the game wouldn’t have.

As of today, players can now purchase cars outright for cash as long as they cost less than 2,000,000 in in-game currency. The change is currently live in Asia and the Americas while the rest of the world, including Australia, won’t see the new option until August 2.

The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo 2017, for example, is now listed at $US2.99 ($4) on the PlayStation Store and in-game for players who don’t want to have to grind for it.

This runs contrary to what Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital and the mastermind behind the Gran Turismo series, said at PlayStation Experience 2017 in Malaysia a couple of months before the game came out.

Asked whether GT Sport would have microtransactions like past games in the series, Yamauchi responded through a translator, “No.” The interviewer who asked the question breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Thank God.” Everyone in the room laughed, including Yamauchi and the translator, and there didn’t seem to be any miscommunication.

Hundreds of cars can now be bought for a $US0.99 ($1) to $US2.99 ($4) on both the PlayStation Store and in-game rather than spending credits. (Screenshot: Sony, Gran Turismo Sport)

A year later, Yamauchi appears to have changed his mind. GT Sport was the first Turismo game in four years and the first on PS4. Despite both of those things, it sold substantially worse than previous games.

That coupled with the cost of server maintenance and continued updates for the game, all of which have been free, could be why Sony has decided to start selling nearly all of the game’s virtual cars, approximately 218 according to GT Planet’s maths, for real world cash. Sony did not immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment.

Meanwhile, some players in the community are split on the wisdom of this new move. One argument that’s been put forth on the game’s subreddit is that people with jobs or other full-time commitments would prefer the option to buy stuff and use it immediately rather than waste time grinding.

Of course, the other way around that would be for the game to simply unlock every car or, as another player suggested, increase payouts for races to reduce how long it takes to acquire new vehicles.

The bigger takeaway is that whatever the monetisation model is when a game’s released might not be the same one it has six months or even a year down the road.

We’ve become accustomed to games adding microtransactions and going free-to-play when they don’t sell well initially or, in the case of Fortnite, creating an entirely new mode funded through the sale of cosmetics. In a racing game, cars aren’t cosmetic though, they are the game.

GT Sport’s tedious grind to unlock new cars was simply frustrating before, but now that there’s an option for quickly bypassing it, it understandably feels more pernicious.


Comments

    Seems alot of people use the "good for those that work fulltime", quote in regard to microtransactions but I dont think they realize that this kind in a game is -always- a bad move.

    Encouraging shortcuts through games using real money is just encouraging devs to bloat games with time consuming useless grinding to just have people go "I haven't got time for this", and throw doqn the cash. Just look at the state of mobile gaming.

      Except that the game has been out for almost a year already, with the current in-game credit system well established. Whether this system is in place or not, it literally changes nothing in the game for you if you don't want it to.

    Asked whether GT Sport would have microtransactions like past games in the series, Yamauchi responded through a translator, “No.”

    A year later, Yamauchi appears to have changed his mind.

    This isn't quite true. In the past games, the microtransactions were basically paid DLC cars. If you wanted those cars, you bought them.

    This isn't like that at all. In fact, things are exactly the same as they have always been. If you want to purchase cars instead of earning in-game credits you can, but there's no gun to your head. There's even an option to remove the play-store button option entirely from the game.

    Most companies have learned that paid DLC fragments communities [particularly important with an MP-focused game]. So far every new car, track and extra content has been absolutely free to all players [in contrast to previous games]. And now they add a completely optional, non-game-affecting option to purchase cars, and people get upset? What the hell do you all want, exactly?

      For arguments sake X car = 1 hour grinding or $3.95. Devs bring out a sequel/new pack/etc, see the money they can make and go "hey this time let's make it 10 hours grinding or $3.95", see where I am going? Its a slippery slope. And that's where the industry's heading.

      In regard to G.T, it's more so the fact he said there wasn't microtransactions only to add them later. But thst logic devs can say "our gane hasn't got microtransactions" only to add them later with an update. It's a dirty trick.

        hey this time let's make it 10 hours grinding or $3.95

        Oh of course. That would be absolutely super shitty of them. And I don't think there's anyone that doubts that. But I can only judge based on their actual actions.
        We also have to contextualise this a bit. Are you familiar with the game very much?
        If not, let me say that the cars are broken down into classes, and the prices are more-or-less ballpark to their real-world counterparts [this is also good to keep in mind; we aren't talking about magic items or miscellaneous boosters, we have the real world to keep as a benchmark]. Each car in a class is also more-or-less the same price.
        If they were to add a new car, and suddenly it costs 10x the price of it's counterparts, then sure, your situation would come to fruition and we can react accordingly.

        I guess I can see why people are annoyed that, sure, officially Kaz said one thing and now he is doing something different so he's a big fat liar. But I dunno, situations change [and in my opinion, the original conversation was in the context of GT5 and 6, which had paid DLC]. As it stands this change doesn't make any difference to the game in any way at all, so I just don't think it's that much of a concern in and of itself.

      What the hell do you all want, exactly?

      No microtransactions at all.

      Are you really that thick?

      I agree. It's not a loot box, you know exactly what you are paying for, the pricing seems reasonable, and if you don't want to pay it can be unlocked without absurd grinding.

    after picking this game up on sale for $20 and seeing the GT game model of bland mediocre car driving hasn't changed since the first version on PSX, this changes nothing and makes no impact to the title.
    Good on them for taking away the one beige snippet of gameplay they had of playing to collect cars, leaving... absolutely no reason to play the game any more.

    GT has always been a driving simulator, not a racing simulator, with the lack of content in GT sport, and the horrid online mode the franchise needs to use more of the consoles processing power to add features to the game and worry less about how shiny the paint looks. I don't know why I keep buying GT games every time I get sucked into the graphics only to realize that the license tests are horribly difficult and winning every real race is no effort because of bad AI and no collision penalties.

    As someone who enjoyed the older GT games in really disappointed with sport.

    Single player mode has little challenge or progression. The VR mode is just a gimmick as it can't be used for standard races.

    And now they want to add microtransactions. Lame!

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