Is Gran Turismo Sport Already a Flop?

So because I use an alternate email account for both WordPress and my PlayStation 4 identity, which allows upwards of 20,000 emails to be diverted away from clogging up my personal account, I may have missed the Gran Turismo Sport closed beta code that arrived in my inbox on… wait for it… March 29th. Supposedly there were issues with Canadian citizens redeeming the code on the PlayStation store, as evidenced by this post on Reddit, but this appears to have been ironed out, and at the moment, Gran Turismo Sport is downloading.

A drastic departure from the series’ forte of mixing Japanese RPG grinding with a hefty yet lopsided roster of cars in some sort of open-ended single player campaign, Gran Turismo Sport looks to take direct aim at the eSports market and compete alongside iRacing when it comes to peer-to-peer competitive online racing, offering users an elaborate ranking system that places sim racers of a similar skill against each other. Though the game will still include a select array of traditional street cars to satisfy longtime fans of the series, the emphasis will be placed on the game’s own semi-fictional interpretation of GT3 & Prototype racing.

However, with a core audience not entirely sold on the eSports element, wishing for Gran Turismo to stay, well, Gran Turismo, Polyphony have already begun to realize this eSports experiment might not work out. The closed beta of Gran Turismo Sport contains two primary modes of play – Sport and Arcade – the former containing the game’s online world, while the latter allows sim racers to turn practice laps against either bots or an empty track. Polyphony have discovered that an overwhelming majority of users participating in the closed beta are not making use of the Sport mode as intended, but instead screwing around in offline practice, defeating the entire purpose of a game that has been built primarily for online eSports competition.

It was made very clear from the title’s initial announcement and subsequent promotional material that Gran Turismo Sport was built for online play, yet so few are willing to play the title online, Polyphony have been forced to entirely shutdown all single-player components of the beta in an effort to herd them like cattle into the game’s online servers.

While it’s very nice to see Polyphony taking their approach to eSports seriously, this may hint at a massive drop in popularity for the franchise when the title inevitably launches, which some are saying may come as early as April 20th. Polyphony Digital have built an entire game around online competition, and yet those who willingly signed up for the beta knowing the kind of focus Gran Turismo Sport would have compared to past games in the series, aren’t racing online. That’s not a good sign.

An overwhelming amount of footage depicting Gran Turismo Sport in action has been uploaded to YouTube thanks to the PlayStation 4’s sharing capabilities, and the results are less than ideal. The driving skill needed for something like Gran Turismo Sport to work well just isn’t there, as massive pile-ups and drivers frequently running into the grass make sifting through these videos a total chore to learn anything useful about the game, as questions hardcore sim racers such as myself may have are simply never answered.

Provided I can actually get into some sort of in-game action once my download completes, you’ll have a preview of Gran Turismo Sport in the next few days. If there’s anything specific you want to know about the title from a sim racer’s perspective, do not hesitate to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to cover it in the next article on Gran Turismo Sport.

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49 thoughts on “Is Gran Turismo Sport Already a Flop?

  1. As a non-player (don’t have PS4, only PS3)…

    It’s a stretch to think PD closed Arcade Mode of GTS’ Beta just to push people to play online. If anything, I think they want to conduct server stress testing.

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  2. I wouldn’t call the whole game a flop, although they definitely would need to retool the way they promote the game and balance its content; I absolutely pick these games up for solo play and cannot rope any of my friends into playing racing games, so an abrupt focus on eSports seemed baffling to me, and I loved Gran Turismo 6.

    I’m both surprised and relieved I’m not alone in just wanting to play solo more often than not, but it’s kind of hilarious that the beta was barely being used for its intended purpose at all.

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  3. The main problem is that the system behind Gran Turismo is absolutely outdated. Ten years ago the formula of addressing the average gamer, giving him a lot of cars to collect and let it appear to be somewhat realistic worked quite well. The gamers were not interested in car physics or realistic sounds and also ignored the bad engine noises.

    Meanwhile we have a strong Forza franchise with much more modern structures, also a big carpool and the advantage of a splitted series system (Motorsport and Horizon) and the appearance on PCs. We also have the Project CARS franchise with its good graphics and and lots of content. And last but not least there’s Real Racing 3 which is played by a lot of casual gamers.

    Also all kind of gamers are much informed about what’s on the racing game market. A big advantage of GT until ~2012 was that lots of people simply didn’t know about alternatives to Gran Turismo. The gaming press and other media like YouTube personalities don’t treat GT in a other way than for exampel Project CARS.

    The GT franchise is going to die because being outdated and crushed between different genres. GT’s old credo to attract somehow everyone doesn’t work anymore.

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    1. “The main problem is that the system behind Gran Turismo is absolutely outdated.”

      Except they aren’t sticking to that system, they’re binning it. Every current racing game (other than Forza) has hardly any cars or tracks, and forces you into simply racing for the sake of it – Project Cars being the worst offender, featuring one of the most tedious career modes I have ever experienced – not to mention the terrible animations (or complete lack of them!) in instances like pit stops, which are straight out of the PS1 days. This looks like GT Sport is simply trying to be PCars, and that’s not what the GT fraternity wants – at least not me, or anyone else I know who’s a fan. I’m much more tempted to pick up an Xbox One and Forza, rather than buy GT Sport. I love car collecting and customizing, I love a good, varied career mode, and I’m not remotely interested in playing online.

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    1. “Excellent work son. That showed em. Cheque is in the post. Private Lobbies still not in AC on console. Go to work.

      Ian”

      I’d give you a like but I’m too lazy to create an account.

      Definitely laughed though.

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  4. Now that high-end PC simulations such as Project Cars and it’s sequel Project Cars 2 are also released on console these inferior console exclusive games will soon die off.

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    1. Project Cars is the Google of Motorsport Simulation.No need to go elsewhere, perfection was achieved with Project Cars 10.0.

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  5. I’m really looking forward to this game for its inclusion of real racing cars. I’m particularly looking forward the BMW Compact of Josh Martin.

    That guy is my hero, I can’t wait to drive in his real racing car.

    Did you know he’s the number 1 sim racer in Scotland?

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  6. Grsan Turismo series somply can’t compete with Project CARS’ highly advanced Seta Tire Model (STM):

    Racing, whether it happens in the real or the virtual world, is all about tires. That’s why Project CARS is powered by the revolutionary Seta Tire Model (STM) that plays a key role in making the WMD-powered title the most authentic virtual racing experience.

    But what exactly does the Seta Tire Model do? Slightly Mad Studios’ physics expert Andrew Weber takes us for a look deep under the hood of the tire technology that drives Project CARS!

    Seta Tire Model Described:

    Seta Tire Model (STM) is a full dynamic tire simulation. Actually, it is three coupled simulations, one for the tire carcass, one for the tire tread and contact patch, and one for heat transfer simulation. It is also modular, where different carcass and tread simulation techniques can be used interchangeably. For example, off road racing may use a different tread simulation.

    The carcass simulation used in Project Cars is a finite element simulation with specific computational optimizations specific to real time tire simulation. The carcass is discretized into small connected “elements”, each one flexing and deforming due to forces

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    1. It’s incredible how badly SMS managed to break and downgrade solid isiMotor with their shitty seta tire model, PhysX collision and other crap.

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  7. Ian Bell uses James to slander competitor’s products on PRC before they are even released?! The intention which comes to light is a disconcerting one. Kill your blog please, you fucking marketing whore.

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  8. TBH, the whole thing feels really passé. The whole time, I kept thinking how much more fun I’d be having with F1 2016. I’d be curious to hear how it feels with a FFB wheel.

    I’m tired of hot laps and random races against either AI or random kids online. What I want is a cohesive experience that simulates being on an actual race team.

    I’d rather have just one racing series replicated in great detail than a smattering of random cars and tracks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I’d rather have just one racing series replicated in great detail than a smattering of random cars and tracks.”

      A-fucking-men.

      Think of the big-daddy sims of yesteryear we all hark back to; GPL, NR2003, GTR2, RBR etcetera. All of those titles had one common thread: they were developed around one central series or discipline, and all efforts were focused solely on that.

      But nowadays you have the modern brand of sims which try to do everything at once. While the feeling of driving the various cars on track may be there, there’s so much missing everywhere else. I am convinced that this smorgasbord approach is the reason we’re not seeing basic, fundamental features that were seen in titles from ten, fifteen years ago – those sims were focused and had a clear goal, and this sense of direction has been lost with sim developers because they’re spreading themselves thin.

      Imagine a sim which encompasses a multitude of disciplines, and recreates each one with all of the brilliance and borderline-autistic detail that F1 2016 has poured into its user experience. I feel that title is the new benchmark for what a polished, feature-complete racing game is here in the late-2010s, and it ain’t happening, because it’s plain to see that even the comparitively lesser features/gameplay details/polish of those older sims is still too much to chew on. AC has been out since Nov. 2013, and only in the last update did we get a basic black-box for configuring pitstops.

      Kunos’ GT3s felt pretty grand back then, when I was on RSR chasing the McLaren Pro Rank. I can only imagine what that would have been like if they focused solely on GT3 and it was combined with gameplay and attention-to-detail like F1 2016’s to create a dedicated ADAC GT Masters or Blancpain title. I feel iRacing would be in a much better place too if they just built on NR2003’s foundation, focusing solely on NASCAR and lower-level oval racing, instead of trying to go everywhere at once.

      Jack of all trades, master of none ‘n all that.

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        1. It’s good enough. These systems aren’t exactly transparent, and there’s no way AMG High Performance Powertrains (aka Ilmor) or Renault Sport are going to divulge exactly how their systems work. As long as all the cars are using similar systems, that’s good enough (for me) to approximate their effect.

          As a driver IRL, I think you’d be surprised how little stuff like that matters. You’d be focused on extracting the maximum from whatever system they gave you. It would be nice if the entire ERS system was replicated in exacting detail, but it’s nowhere near as important as things like good AI, car development over a season, proper flag rules and all the other little details that make you feel like you’re in a real racing series.

          Put another way, fiddling with nerd shit in the cockpit is not what makes Max Verstappen a great driver.

          AC is a perfect example of this fallacy. They modeled the ERS system in the SF15-T wonderfully, but the AI is so horrible with open wheelers (good luck getting through turn 1 at Barcelona unless you’re willing to concede 5 places and drive completely off-line), to the point where, for F1 cars, it’s just a hotlap simulator.

          I’m really tired of simulators that obsess over tiny details that I, as a driver, would have no control over and which could be easily approximated with no real degradation of the experience. These things are “nice to have”. Meanwhile, essential things like good AI are rarely delivered.

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  9. Semaj: “We have not published a single article on pCars 2 since announcing the sponsorship but Ok…”

    Exactly, the NDA prevents you from doing so unless is approved by Ian.

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      1. You published those “leaks”, doing some advertising work for project2.

        You were already under contract with Slightly Mad when those articles about the leaks were out. But for you it only matters after announcing your contract publicly. Still, future articles after “since announcing the sponsorship” will need to be approved by Ian, unless he already educated you on what can’t be said against them to not breach anything and what can be said against the competition to make it look bad in favor of anything from project2.

        Should iracing, studio69, kunos, reiza, all buy you out like sms did? Only one type of company buys media. Those with offshores in Singapore.

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  10. Hi James, did you remove the SMS Logo from PRC’s banner graphics or was the logo not there in the first place? I’m genuinely confused here and might remember it wrong and don’t want to state false facts. It would be nice if you could clear this up for me.

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    1. Ian asked to because he didnt want it to look like he endorsed the content. Seems fair, theyre paying us to run a race car and poke holes in their game, not write shill pieces.

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        1. SMS is is not paying to sponsor the website.

          They have funded the race car. Their cheque goes from their account, to my account, to dustin’s account, to Finish Line for an assload of parts, for example. In a few weeks it’ll be to VP for a barrel of fuel.

          They have paid me to poke holes in their game on a private forum.

          They do not pay me to write articles on PRC.

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          1. Again, thick as fuck. He is sponsoring the website. Your delusion levels have reached Josh Martin levels if you think Ian would sponsor some random WESCAR driver without a blog. Darin Gangi is better than you, let that sink in.

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            1. No, he is sponsoring the race car.

              iRacing paid Darin to cover iRacing in a very prominent manner. SMS paid us to campaign a race car with their logo on it.

              I just happen to run a blog many read.

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  11. If iRacing had sponsored Austin they could have stopped the weekly ‘iRacing sucks’ articles.

    I bet they are kicking themselves now lol.

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  12. You asked what we wanted to see in future GTS coverage. It’s kind of obvious, but I’d appreciate your feedback on the following points:

    * Driving physics and handling
    * Wheel support and FFB
    * How does GTS feel when driven by controller
    * The new driver rating system
    * Sounds (always a weak point in the GT series up to now)
    * Can FOV be changed

    Thanks in advance.

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    1. Please don’t forget to test the AI, although I’m not very optimistic in this respect regarding Polyphony’s AI track record.

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  13. Word of advice: don’t race on Tokyo Expressway until you increased your Sportsmanship Rating a lot. You will be stuck with a group of idiots that will create pile ups, ram you from behind, etc. All of which will lower your Sportsmanship Rating and put you with even worse drivers. It’s a slippery slope. They really need to figure out how to assign blame for an accident instead of just penalizing all involved equally.

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  14. I disagree update 1.05 for the beta made the game better and they are still updating the beta and the game did not release on the 20th of April like some thought it would they wont release this game until its ready!

    Like

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