Race to the bottom

Gran Turismo 7's rocky launch just keeps getting worse

Thanks to controversial microtransactions and unscheduled maintenance, fans have made Gran Turismo 7 the lowest-rated Sony game ever on Metacritic.

Fans may have waited almost a decade for Gran Turismo 7, but they aren't exactly greeting the latest entry in the legendary racing series with open arms. After a messy launch, GT7 now has the lowest user score for any Sony-published game on Metacritic; it's currently sitting at a very unhealthy 2.0 out of 10.

Though the racing game garnered many plaudits from the games press — its Metascore is an 87, for context. Since the game actually made it into the hands of consumers a few weeks ago it's been nothing but bad news. Much of the furor is directed at the 1.07 update, which decreased the amount of credits players get for completing many of the game's races, as well as patching out a bug that some players were using to gain many credits quickly.

Others have pointed out that the pace of credits vastly decreases after the early game, forcing players to grind out the same races for hours in order to buy just one of GT7's many expensive cars.

If you don't have the patience or inclination for that, you can fork over real money for credits, but watch out: some of the more desirable vehicles will run you the equivalent of $20, with the most expensive ones costing double that. As VGC notes, the prices of cars in the last entry in the series, Gran Turismo Sport, topped out at around $5. Guess inflation has hit the virtual car market hard. And, of course, let's not forget that the game costs $70 by itself to begin with.

Macro-aggressions — Questionable microtransactions aside, fans are upset about the "schedule maintenance" that accompanied patch 1.07, which ended up locking everyone out of the game for about a day and a half. Some observers have also noted that developer Polyphony Digital removed the option to sell the cars you don't want for more credits, which you could do in previous games. Very suspicious, to say the least.

Predatory microtransactions are nothing new in the world in triple-A video games, but it's rare to see fans rise up to this extent these days. As a whole, it might be fair to say that Gran Turismo 7 has the dubious distinction of being the first truly wretched video game launch of 2022.