Despite its high sales, Gran Turismo 7 is not having a good launch month. On Friday, developers Polyphony Digital took the game offline for almost two days of maintenance. This meant that even much of the game’s single player mode was also unplayable since that also requires an internet connection. Players are also upset about the game’s microtransaction-heavy revenue model despite its premium $US60 (A$83) price tag. And so, many players immortalised their dissatisfaction on Metacritic.
As originally spotted by VGChronicle, Gran Turismo 7 reportedly had a Metacritic score of 2.5 at one point. It’s 2.8 at the time of this writing. This makes GT7 the lowest-rated Sony game on the review platform. Many of the complaints involve the forced online mode, but most of the low reviews concern the microtransactions. It turns out, players don’t want to spend more money on a game after they already paid full price for the base product. Who could have foreseen this? It is a mystery.
GT7 costs as much as any other first-party PlayStation title, but players can only obtain certain premium cars by buying them from the in-game shop. And unlike previous Gran Turismo games, players can’t sell their existing cars through the marketplace, either. While players could grind currency for free, Metacritic community members also noted that GT7 did not have a lot of varied races at launch making the endeavour that much more tedious.
Polyphony Digital CEO and series producer Kazunori Yamauchi released a blog post on March 18 addressing the forced maintenance and microtransactions. He clarified that the game had to be taken offline due to a startup error that affected both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions. According to the post, the developers initiated unscheduled maintenance to preserve the integrity of players’ save files.
Yamauchi added that he wanted players to experience the game without microtransactions but that “it’s important for [in-game cars] to be linked with the real world prices.” It’s a baffling statement to make, since video game cars are fake and Sony can make them cost whatever they want.
Kotaku reached out to Sony for a comment about the issues but did not receive a response by the time of publication.