A lot has transpired in the GT universe since my original article, so it has become quite irrelevant at this point.
What has happened?
Fan sentiment was already quite mixed about the game, but then the 1.06 update broke more things about the game than it fixed. Most notoriously the missions and license tests requiring dirt tyres would not have them installed on the cars, thus making these missions near impossible to complete.
This made things worse, but nobody could prepare for what 1.07 did which was pushed out on 17th of March. Following fan complaints about inconsistent race rewards Polyphony have "adjusted" payouts for several races.
You guessed, the "adjusted rewards" meant cutting the payout on several races, some by as much as 50%. In a vacuum this would not be a problem, but the balance of the game was already leaning towards excessive grinding if people wanted to acquire the most exclusive cars in the game. And suddenly the grind went from 48 to 96 hours.
And to make matters worse 1.07 also introduced a bug that could potentially break the game, so Polyphony pre-emptively took down the servers while they were working on the fix. This left people free to brood over the cut payouts and the incompetence that caused a 36 hour downtime during which nobody could play the game in earnest. The lack of clear communication from Polyphony only made things worse.
The lowest ever metacritic score ever recorded for a Sony title, which is currently sitting at 1.7. Obviously this is not representative of the game's quality, but it is representative of the level of disappointment of the fans.
And the father of Gran Turismo, Kazunori Yamauchi's dubious statement after the patch didn't exactly make things better. The conscise version is that they wanted to make legendary cars as rare and unattainable in the game as they are in real life.
Which was such an out of touch statement that only an actual dollar millionaire can make. The exact reason, we, the plebs play the game is because the cars are out of our reach in real life. So to make them out of our reach in the game too is as good as a slap in the face.
The other part of the statement that raised concerns is that he asked us to view the game as an ongoing investment instead of a finished product. Which basically translates to: you bought an early access title. Not what we wanted to hear.
The panicked response
The massive negativity must have rattled someone either at Sony or Polyphony because contrary to my expectations they did respond to the outrage.
But the response is not exactly what I had hoped for. It seems more like shut up money, than an actual attempt at fixing the issue. They gave every player who already owned the game on 25th of March 1 million in game credits. If it walks like a payoff, and quacks like a payoff, it is a payoff.
They also promised further adjustments to the game economy to be imlpemented by early April. But what this exactly will look like is anyone's guess at this point. They promise large rewards for the circuit experience and on average 100% increase on the payouts for world circuit races. Which funnily enough would be just enough to return some of them to the original pre 1.07 reward, when the game already was too grindy even then.
Now what I'd consider a large reward for completing circuit experience on shorter tracks is at least 100.000cr, and 250.000 for more challenging tracks. I'm curious to see what's their idea of large rewards.
They also proposed longer term changes with no time frame:
- Limited time live service events with increased payout
Now if you know me, you know how I feel about time limited events. I often don't get to play games for a week or more, so I'm really not into the whole live service FOMO genre.
- More World circuit events
With the lack of content in the game we definitely need lots of that. 5-10 new events per track would be necessary to make the game what it is supposed to be.
- Endurance races
As someone with limited time, this doesn't mean much unless they also wish to add a B-Spec mode, but unfortunately there was no talk of that yet.
- Online ranked time trials with rewards
This would be a good thing, I don't understand while the rankings are restricted to your friends only. Of course I have no chance of being at the front, I cannot compete with glitchers and cheaters or pro esports players.
- Selling cars
Now this should be the very first thing they implement before everything else. That they list it as the very last thing almost as an afterthought doesn't make me confident that we will ever get this feature. I wish I was wrong on this.
To sum it up, now I'm in the wait and see mode. I'm not convinced yet that everything will be fine after this. Let's see what they actually do, as words are cheap. I'm tempted to wait until at least the next update to continue clearing events in the game, so I don't miss out on increased payouts. It'd be great if they retroactively redeemed the prize difference for all events that you already completed but I don't see that as a realistic possibility.
What do you think? Are you content with their response?