An Australian sim racing company have been forced into a slightly embarrassing mea culpa, after publishing a social post with what gamers and some outlets quickly mistook to be an official logo for Gran Turismo 7.
The logo was posted on social media for engagement by Next Level Racing, an Australian company specialising in the sale of racing wheels, chairs, pedals and other sim racer equipment. In the post, the company simply asked: "What racing game are you most looking forward to in 2020?"
There was nothing really worth taking note of, until people noticed the logos at the bottom. Alongside the official logos for DiRT 5, F1 2020 and Reiza Studios' Automobilista 2 - some of the most anticipated games for those into hardcore racing - there was a little logo for Gran Turismo 7.
The logo looked reasonably legit, and without much effort the internet immediately wondered if Next Level Racing were onto something. The company is an official licensee with PlayStation, an association that some gamers immediately read as Next Level Racing having some kind of inside knowledge about upcoming PlayStation 5 titles.
A next-gen Gran Turismo would be exciting. The game has always pushed Sony's hardware the furthest, showcasing the best of the console's graphical capabilities. It'd also be a game that would massively benefit from improved loading times, as anyone who played Gran Turismo 5 will remember.
But as is often the case, the logo wasn't official branding from Polyphony Digital or Sony - just an overeager attempt on the part of a social media person. "Our team has recognised that a recent post by us using a logo has been misinterpreted by media and it does not reflect any information from our end, and we deny knowing any information regarding the launch of GT7," Next Level Racing said on Instagram.
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"Our team has recognized that a recent post by us using a logo has been misinterpreted by media and it does not reflect any information from our end, and we deny knowing any information regarding the launch of GT7. There have been assumptions made in the media that are quite simply untrue. Due to this, we have decided to take down our previous social post. Our Graphic Design Department used the mock logo that is circulated on the internet. We do apologize for any confusion that this might have caused."
"Due to this, we have decided to take down our previous social post," the company said. "Our Graphic Design Department used the mock logo that is circulated on the internet."
Kotaku Australia contacted Next Level Racing about the post originally, but the company replied after posting their apology. "We do apologise for the misinterpretation," they told Kotaku Australia over Twitter.
It's a bit of a weird statement. When you put a fake logo in between three other games that are announced and very real, GT7 will look legitimate by association. And there's also the part where Next Level Racing very directly asked people: "What racing game are you most looking forward to in 2020?" Logically, one would look at that post and assume Next Level Racing thought - or knew - that GT7 was coming out this year.
Anyway, the company - which was founded in the Gold Coast - has "apologised for any confusion". A new Gran Turismo would be a great launch game for the PS5, mind you, especially since it's been about three years since GT Sport.