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Gran Turismo 7, offline for more than 24 hours, shows its always-online problem

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GT series creator apologizes, Sony rolls out new update

an Alfa Romeo racing car crossing the finish line on the Trial Mountain circuit in Gran Turismo 7 Image: Polyphony Digital/Sony Interactive Entertainment

PlayStation owners who wanted to play Gran Turismo 7 over the past day or so found themselves with little to do in the game, as the developer of the driving sim, Polyphony Digital, performed extended (and unexpected) maintenance. Players who dropped $69.99 or more on the game were understandably upset, both at the lack of communication from Sony and Polyphony, and how the always-online nature of some Gran Turismo 7 modes locked them out of much of the experience.

On Friday morning, Polyphony brought Gran Turismo 7 back online and rolled out a new update (version 1.08, effectively a fix for version 1.07) for GT7 and did its best to explain what happened. Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO of Polyphony Digital and producer of the Gran Turismo games, apologized to fans and said the more-than-24-hour downtime was related to a bug that prevented GT7 from starting on some PlayStation consoles.

“Immediately before the release of the 1.07 update, we discovered an issue where the game would not start properly in some cases on product versions for the PS4 and PS5,” Yamauchi wrote on the Gran Turismo website. “This was a rare issue that was not seen during tests on the development hardware or the QA sessions prior to the release, but in order to prioritize the safety of the save data of the users, we decided to interrupt the release of the 1.07 update, and to make a 1.08 correctional update.”

Gran Turismo 7 is now back online and playable, but the extended downtime for the game led to fans seeking refunds, a thrashing of the game’s Metracritic user score, and invitations from the competition — specifically Grid Legends developer Codemasters — to take a shot at Gran Turismo.

Gran Turismo 7’s downtime was extra fuel for another fire burning within fans: a change to how many credits players can earn in some races. Fewer credits, of course, means more grinding to buy GT7’s most expensive cars. A recent change to the game’s economy, detailed by GT Planet, has cut credit payouts in some lucrative races by more than half.

While fans on Reddit are expressing their annoyance, so too are pro Gran Turismo racers. Racer and YouTuber Steve Alvarez Brown, aka SuperGT, blasted the change to credit payouts on Twitter, saying, “As a matter of principle, I will never do a single microtransaction EVER on GT7,” Brown said. “The game has definitely got a to a point whereby it’s unreasonably time consuming for the average player to gain credits.

“Even if you completely disregard microtransactions, the bottom line is that it takes stupid amounts of time to gain credits in the game.”

On the Gran Turismo website, Yamauchi attempted to explain the change to credit payouts and in-game car pricing, saying that he hopes players will “watch over the growth of Gran Turismo 7 from a somewhat longer term point of view”:

In GT7 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 GT7 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.

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 GT7 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.

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