- Brandon, MB
Thank you for putting it in better words then I could. It's less the actual tag line itself but more of what it represents - and what it represents is a series that more often then not rests on its laurels because of the opportunities afforded to them and rarely changes, even as the industry has passed them by in most of the areas that GT was considered strong in in the past.It's not so much the tagline, as that Polyphony/Kaz are still under the impression that their game is a highly realistic simulator.
Remember the infamous quote around the sound of GT5: "My perspective is that the sounds are just too real."
GTPlanet has released a very interesting exclusive interview with Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi.www.virtualr.net
Gran Turismo's Engine Sounds, Drag Racing, the DeltaWing, & More: Kazunori Yamauchi's 2012 GTPlanet InterviewKazunori Yamauchi hints at his future plans for the Gran Turismo series, while addressing frequent complaints and questions about GT5.www.gtplanet.net
That was a problem, because as long as the belief was that the sounds were excellent there was no reason to think that Polyphony would put any effort or resources into changing them in a meaningful way. And in GT6 almost nothing changed with regards to the sounds, bar that they tried to make an engine simulation system for a few cars that was even worse. That mindset clearly changed because they hired an actual professional to manage the sounds for GTS and they're much improved, to the point that the "vacuum cleaner" joke is largely a thing of the past. That's great for everyone, even the people who thought that there was nothing wrong with the sounds before but can enjoy how much better the game sounds now.
There are real issues with the physics of Gran Turismo. Even accepting that Polyphony will sacrifice ultimate realism for playability because that's what their core demographic want, that doesn't necessitate the weird damping physics, the neutered behaviour of FWD cars, the general unresponsiveness to track geometry, and probably any number of other things that people more knowledgable that I could go into. Arguably the game becomes better with these things, because while a proper implementation doesn't really raise the skill floor they absolutely raise the skill ceiling.
Something like Assetto Corsa isn't really any harder to drive for a novice than Gran Turismo (bar the fact that Gran Turismo has far better pad optimisation, but that's not a physics thing), but there is a lot more room to develop your skills as a driver. That's why you get the "hardcore" crowd pushing back against the idea that the physics need to be the way they are for the casual crowd - it's just not true. This is one situation where you can have your cake and eat it too.
The tagline itself isn't a problem, but it is a symbolic representation of the problematic mindset. While the physics in GT has improved somewhat over the years, the idea that it's a realistic simulation is damaging in the same way that the idea that the sounds were too real was damaging. It removes any impetus to keep pushing for something better.
Kaz has espoused in interviews in the past that he thinks that good physics should be easy to drive, and he's not wrong. The whole "harder to drive is better" thing is a holdover from the early days of hardcore sims where that kinda-sorta was true, because it was arcade games versus sims. But modern sims like AC or rF2 or even iRacing are not hard to drive. They're hard to drive fast, but that's true in real life too. That's why racing drivers are professionals who train and dedicate thousands of hours to becoming proficient at their craft. Anyone can go to an open day on a track with their own car and expect to very quickly be able to go around it at speed without plowing into a wall, you'll just be multiple seconds a lap slower than a professional would be.
I'd like to see GT become as realistic as it can be without alienating players, because that's a big part of what it presents itself as. I think that's a lot more realistic than it is right now, and is a far bigger step than we've seen between any two GT games with the possible exception of GT2 to GT3.
This is also 100% the case. And, if I may go into conspiracy theory territory, is probably why Evolution was shuddered, even after the multitude of problems the studio had faced since coming out with Motorstorm and had plowed through with confidence (which 90% of the time wasn't even really Evolution's fault) simply because Kaz does not want competition from within, which Evolution absolutely was. And he has the pull in order to get what he wants.Is it really that Kaz believes this, or simply just is in his own bubble when it came to designing the game and because his friend Hirai was over there at Sony, his team could take all the sweet time he wanted and not care about the competition and therefore is in a state of complacency for a long while? I tend to honestly believe that is more what is at hand and kinda what I always believed around the time of GT6. He's essentially been handed a get out of jail free card because even if the games haven't had nearly the sales of earlier games, they've never sold "Poorly" either to really warrant any big and massive changes (Which kinda makes GT Sport all the more an interesting product as it didn't have to exist at all given what I presented regarding sales).
This is ultimately the thing that gets me. It's pretty clear that most major developers, and publishers really, care much more about retention of players and how many are actually playing then sales, because they provide a much more accurate display of the numbers then sales do, which simply shows how a game is selling. Nothing more, and nothing less. Considering the fact that while GT Sport sold well enough, that publicly revealed numbers (however accurate they might be) show that only a small group of people actually play the game day over day and week over week, and like you said, a very large portion really only bought the game, realized that there was no single player to speak of other then piss easy challenges and one off races (since I also guarantee that the vast majority of that 84% came before Polyphony started piecemealing a single player campaign over free updates) and then deleted the game? Not hard to see why, especially when anecdotal evidence also shows that GT Sport cratered hard in terms of price point not long after release.Is it the millions of people who buy a GT title and then abandon it after a very short time, or the significantly smaller number who play it over the long term? After all, only 5.5% of players have played in the last week and 84% have never played Sport mode.
So like, what is the victory here for Sony or PD? Sure, your games are selling 'well' in the relative term, but that isn't the main goal anymore, and most developers and publishers have realized that. You really can't sell games simply on the virtue of being graphical showcases, especially when most people who are deep into video games can go on Youtube after GT7 is released and watch a Digital Foundry video that more or less outlines, in layman's terms, that GT7 is at best a marginal improvement over GT Sport, even on PS5. Which once again goes back to the entire crux of this argument - that creating a game for both PS5 and PS4 is a very clear mistake, and that any benefits that come with that are undone the second you put logical thinking about Polyphony's recent history in regards to game creating, and realize that by the time GT7 releases, the shortages and scalping of next gen consoles will have made the decision to build alongside the PS4 moot, and simply adds dead weight to a game that absolutely should have been a next gen only experience.