Pikes Peak Now Exclusive to Gran Turismo

toyota_tacomaAfter the decade-long disaster that was Porsche’s exclusivity deal with Electronic Arts, locking away the prestigious German automotive brand from all but the most frivolous of driving games, you’d think that other developers would take a good hard look at what exclusivity agreements can do to the genre, and make every last effort to avoid them at all costs. It appears the folks at Polyphony Digital either haven’t gotten the memo or simply don’t give a shit, as Codemasters of all people have confirmed both in an interview with Eurogamer, as well as on their own official message board, that Pikes Peak will now only be featured in Gran Turismo games – as Polyphony Digital have secured exclusive rights to the legendary American hill climb competition.

Many have wondered why the preview footage we’ve seen of DiRT 4 failed to include any sort of menu options relating to hill climb racing after Pikes Peak was part of DiRT Rally’s vanilla roster of content, and now we’ve got an answer. The rights to the virtual rendition of the event have been scooped up by Gran Turismo.

mitsubishi_fto_1It’s a very strange decision on the part of Polyphony Digital. As a ground level consumer, I can’t understand why going after this license for an exclusivity deal was even worth their time.

The Pikes Peak hill climb, as well as a handful of relevant cars that have attacked the infamous mountain over the past thirty years, have made sporadic appearances throughout numerous simulators built for an audience much smaller than what Gran Turismo traditionally reels in – most recently in both DiRT Rally (2015) and Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo (2016).

Unlike Porsche, there isn’t a genuine need to monopolize the Colorado motorsports competition for use in one specific game, because it’s not like every single simulator has it included by default, nor are fanboys fighting over which of the eight different versions on the market is supposedly the superior rendition. It’s literally this obscure stretch of road that a fraction of a fraction of sim racers care about, and only two developers have bothered to tackle over the past decade, so why not leave it open for these developers? What are you going to gain from saying “Pikes Peak, only in Gran Turismo?

People already know the GT games were never hardcore rally simulators, so what are you trying to accomplish here, Polyphony? The people who bought DiRT Rally and Sebastien Loeb Rally Evo partially for Pikes Peak, certainly aren’t going to rush out and buy the next Gran Turismo, primarily because it’s Gran Turismo and not a proper hardcore rally simulator. Hell, I don’t want to drive Pikes Peak in Gran Turismo, I want to drive it in a dedicated rally game. Why would you take that option away from us?

Oops.

audiSo alright, Polyphony have the Pikes Peak license, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Will we even see it in a Gran Turismo game?

The folks behind Gran Turismo have not released a single commercial title since Gran Turismo 6 in late 2013, their upcoming PlayStation 4 project GT Sport has already suffered one major delay due to concerns over the direction of the simulator, and when it does come out, it’s said to center primarily around competitive online circuit racing and fictionalized RallyCross championships – not point-to-point rally racing with a single car on a narrow mountain pass. This is something you can go look up on Google by simply typing GT Sport Rally. With the competitive online platform Polyphony Digital are trying to build, something like Pikes Peak doesn’t even make any sense in the context of a game such as GT Sport. You’re including a host of ultra-wide off road circuits designed primarily for competitive head-to-head, door-to-door play, and then you go and gain the exclusive license for… Pikes Peak? A two-lane mountain pass primarily used for time trials?

Huh?

cargame_610Why would you go out and license a very specific rally racing event, when the track doesn’t even have a purpose in your upcoming release?And given how long the wait is between major Gran Turismo releases, we’re looking at a situation where we don’t see this exclusivity deal produce anything until Gran Turismo 7 in 2021 at the earliest.

In my opinion, rally fans got royally fucked today by this deal, and I don’t believe we’ll even see Pikes Peak in GT Sport later this year; I’m under the belief Polyphony paid for the rights to an event that won’t even be in their upcoming game. And it wouldn’t be the first time, either.

ttIt was even announced on local radio as coming to Gran Turismo 7 back in 2015…

tt-2015Of course, we all know how this turned out; despite supposedly scanning the entire circuit and revealing to local radio that Gran Turismo 7 would feature the Isle of Man TT motorcycle course, the license was instead acquired by Bigben Interactive.

Good job Polyphony for pissing off hardcore rally fans!

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36 thoughts on “Pikes Peak Now Exclusive to Gran Turismo

  1. Would have been nice to see it in Dirt 4 but even then I don’t think this will be a deal breaker for most people. I do agree that it is an odd move to seek an exclusive license, however.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking the same thing, just call it the pikes peak highway. I am pretty sure the national parks service does not do exclusive deals, because it’s public land after all.

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      1. The road itself is controlled not by the NPS but by the city of Colorado Springs. Regardless, it’s a public highway either way, and I was unaware that a municipality could license such a thing. Now I can understand a license to use “Pikes Peak International Hill Climb” and the associated logos and so forth, but the road itself? Doesn’t seem right.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Ridiculous. We need better monitoring of video game publishers AND developers. We need a system in place for quality control that is payed by a trusted 3rd party because of reasons like this and other things discussed here on PRC.net. On a side note, I saw that No Mans Sky was back under way from their debacle and it worries me that we as consumers dont actually try to voice our concerns. We are addicts in the gaming world and honestly its disgusting. /rantend

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  3. >CTRL+F Gran Turismo 2
    >No results

    Are you forgetting history? To be fair, it was only part of the track due to storage limitations.

    Peak Performance (Touge Max: Saisoku Drift Master in Japan, although I don’t know if that version had Pikes Peak) also had the same-ish(?) portion of Pikes Peak, but with less accurate scenery in early sections:

    In fact, the US version’s box art and marketing (of Peak Performance) emphasized the Pikes Peak inclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh no, people never learn. 😦 Exclusivity is never good for racing game fans. In this case it is not soley Polyphony Digital’s fault. The organisers of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event and PD deserve equal blame for this, since a contract providing exclusivity is a voluntary arrangement between the two parties involved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When companies pay up for exclusivity, fans lose. Competition breeds better games and more options. It won’t be hard for other devs to make off-brand versions as ever, but that doesn’t stop this from being a sucky move. (And I’m saying this with a downright ridiculous amount of hours sunk into GT6.)

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  5. Polyphony working ass-backwards once again. The best thing is even though they had like 400 nicely modelled “premium” cars, for some fucking reason they decide that for GT Sport they need to model 100 cars from scratch (fking seriously? Kaz what is wrong with you lately?)

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  6. Seriously, how can anyone license either of the things listed in this article? Public road layouts are not copyrightable. Same goes with the WRC stages that Dirt supposedly can’t use. James, want to pull out your Internet lawyer degree and get to work on this one?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You realise Pikes Peak is already in rFactor 2?

    I don’t mean to sound like a shill/fanboy whatever, but this game doesn’t need to have rally physics, or drift physics, or tarmac physics… It just has ‘physics’.

    I find it funny how Dev studios sign exclusive deals, when the little guys like me just go and make stuff and release for free anyway.

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  8. That bike footage is from Ride or Ride 2.

    Pikes Peak was actually in Colin McRae Rally 3, split into bits, as well as DiRT 1 and DiRT Rally. And in Loeb of course.

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  9. It is a little disappointing that one developer can lock up a track for car , it isn’t ideal for us at the end of the day.

    It’s pretty shit actually , well done Polyphony Digital ……. DLC Pikes Peak ……

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  10. The Finnland Rally isn’t part of Dirt 4 for about the same reasons even it was never accurate. Reminds me to drive PP soon, because never really learned that track and physics are far better now in DR on PP than in the beginning.

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  11. It’s more than likely that there’s more licensing bullshit involved when it comes to Dirt 4 as there won’t be any real life rally stages in the game this time due to, as Paul Coleman has put it, “reasons beyond our control”. Now that’s indeed a somewhat vague statement, but when I hear something like this, I immediately think “licensing”. I wonder what happened that allowed them to use real stages before but doesn’t allow them now…

    It might even seem like the whole track generator deal has been prioritized exactly for this very reason.

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    1. On their forum he said they’d been advised to stay away from WRC real life locations legally. I guess with a WRC car and stages in DiRT Rally someone complained perhaps, and/or tightened up the license.

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  12. Never cared about Pikes Peak at all. Not driven it once in Dirt Rally. IMO, at all nowadays, it´s not even a rally track anymore.

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    1. It was never a rally track, though – it was always a hillclimb track. And – since that’s what you probably meant by that – you got to choose in Dirt Rally (and in SLRE if you bought the DLC) – you could drive the full tarmac version, the mixed one from around 2005 and the full gravel one from the 80’s.

      And I’d say you’re missing out. That track is a blast.

      Like

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