The latest free update for Sony’s idiosyncratic racing game has helped the Gran Turismo series continue its popularity, according to its lead, Kazunori Yamauchi.
Since 2017’s Gran Turismo Sport, the GT series has turned into an evolving platform, with ranked online racing, monthly updates and continued support – with last year’s Gran Turismo 7 continuing that approach through a significant Spec II update in November.
It seems like it has been positively received by the PlayStation user base, with creators Polyphony Digital claiming a marked uptake in active users, attributed to the recent additions.
“We just released the Spec II update and the number of active users jumped up to double what it was before that,” said Series Producer and totem Kazunori Yamauchi to OverTake.GG during the World Series finals in Barcelona.
It included the first permanent roll-out of the Sony AI co-created opponent agent, seven new cars, snow driving, fresh single-player events and four-player local split-screen alongside a bevy of refinements. It arrived nearly two years after the game’s release and follows a spate of near-monthly content additions in between.
Speaking of sales, exact figures were not available, but Yamauchi-san was extremely positive about its results.
“[Gran Turismo 7] has been a success and we have more users,” enthused Yamauchi when comparing it to GT Sport.
Gran Turismo 7 Active Users Remain ‘Really High’
The shift from a game that is complete from day one, such as in the PlayStation 2 era, to a ‘games as a service’ (GaaS) model is in part to try and keep players engaged for longer and racing over several years.
Gran Turismo 7’s approach is indicative of this strategy, where the importance of outright sales figures has been superseded by a social media tech giant-esque goal of ‘active’ users.
To this end, the PS4 and PS5 title appears to be surprising even the creators with its sustained player base, as Yamauchi explained:
“We’ve been able to maintain a really high number of active users throughout the release.
“That’s something very unique to Gran Turismo, that some other titles have not been able to see.
“I’ve heard that in the video game industry that’s quite rare.”
While there is no schedule available for the next Gran Turismo 7 update, later today (2nd December) a new Genesis Vision Gran Turismo car will be unveiled, followed by a Bulgari vehicle tomorrow (3rd December) supposedly embodying the luxury Italian fashion house.
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