Too many microtransactions kill the microtransaction…and in this case, kill the critical reception of Gran Turismo 7. A few days ago, Polyphony Digital’s racing game was unplayable for a good thirty hours, the fault of the largely messed up launch of update 1.08. An unavailability of tens of hours for the single player mode of an 80 euro game, the pill was already bitter, but the worst was yet to come in the form of a drastic modification of the economy of microtransactions integrated into the game, modification largely to the disadvantage of the players.
Kazunori Yamauchi, the game’s designer, had tried to justify this new economic model, which required “farming” the best cars to absurd proportions (tens of hours of racing for a single vehicle) “At the same time, the price of cars is an important element that conveys their value and rarity, so I think it’s important that it be linked to real-world prices. I want to make Grand Turismo 7 a game where you can enjoy a variety of cars in lots of different ways, and if possible, I’d like to try to avoid a situation where a player has to mechanically replay certain events over and over.”
Yamauchi’s lunar explanations had rather the effect of annoying the players even more… who have just punished the studio’s strategy via the Metacritic site. Gran Turismo indeed harvests a Metacritic-player average of barely 1.8 points/10, an extremely low and unprecedented score: never has a PlayStation Studios game received such a low rating from players.
More surprising, no doubt, is the lack of reaction from the media, which very often gave excellent marks to the game… and which most of the time did not even issue a warning on their test. It should indeed be known that Sony had provided the media/influencers with a key for the test in advance of Gran Turismo 7, but that in this testable version the microtransactions were simply inaccessible, which means that the title was evaluated without taking into account account the predatory strategy of Polyphony Digital.
Passionate but often fair in his analyses, the youtubeur GaGzZz puts his foot in the dish
Changing such an important element of the game to such an extent (many cars are now offered between 50 and 120 euros in microtransactions) AFTER the release of the tests could legitimately be seen as a means of distorting the ratings (many testers certainly would not have given the same ratings with the current microtransactions). The fact remains that one wonders why the media testers refuse to review the rating of the game after the fact, just as Sony has reviewed its game after the fact. Afraid of losing the famous key for the tests in advance? If this is the case, this still raises serious questions about the independence of sites and influencers who claim to speak “objectively” about video games.