Gran Turismo turned 25 today, 23 December 2022. An important milestone that Kazunori Yamauchi himself, father of the game and founder of Gran Turismo, has decided to honor with a dedicated trailer. In addition to this, Yamauchi has confirmed that the series has exceeded 90 million units soldconsecrating himself as one of the car sagas, as well as one of the best-selling PlayStation exclusive IPs everwith Gran Turismo 7 having by some estimates sold around 5 million copies so far.
The father of this historic franchise in the PlayStation world wrote a long statement on the PlayStation Blog, narrating the history of the studio. A story that traces Yamauchi’s entire life, from his childhood when he dreamed of developing video games, then through the founding of Polyphony Digital and the Birth of Motor Toon Grand Prix, one of PlayStation’s first first party IPs.
In 1997 came the turn of Gran Turismoa series that from there would have left an indelible mark not only in the gaming world, but also in society itself. The game featured hundreds of vehicles. Unlike its rivals, however, Gran Turismo was the only one to aim for a “simulation” driving style (with the MANY limitations of the time) on consoles, also proposing many mainly Japanese road cars.
And it was GT that cleared this market, making cars like the Toyota Supra or Nissan Skyline iconic, but also more modest cars. Many enthusiasts decided to buy Japanese cars – the famous JDMs – right after having discovered and appreciated them in Polyphony racing. Some of these cars we would then see again a few years later in Fast and Furious.
This influence has grown more and more over the years, leading Polyphony Digital to actively collaborate with the automotive and motorsport world. In the mid-2008 was founded the GT Academy, an initiative that allowed players to become professional drivers. Neil Bloompkamp’s film will be based on this initiative. Polyphony also collaborated with Nissan on the development of the Nissan GT-R, creating the graphics for the central display.
In 2008 he collaborated with Citroen for the creation of the GT By Citroen, a one-off presented at the Paris Motor Show in 2008. In 2010 it was the turn of Red Bull, with Adrian Newey who showed off all his creativity and genius and conceived the crazy Red Bull X2010 for Gran Turismo 5. The game in question also had several champions on its roster, such as Sebastian Vettel (who would soon begin a domination that lasted four years), Sebastien Loeb and Jeff Gordon.
However, the peak of the collaborations between Polyphony and the car manufacturers was reached in 2013 with the Vision GT program. Mercedes, Nissan, BMW and many other manufacturers have created their own concept car exclusively for Gran Turismo. The goal was to show the design that the houses would then take to the road, and for several models this has actually turned into reality.
The most striking cases concern the Toyota FT-1, which would later become the Toyota Supra, and the Bugatti Vison GT. The latter anticipated the lines of the Bugatti Chiron by a year, which just recently arrived on Gran Turismo 7. The latest creature of this initiative was the daughter of a collaboration between Ferrari and Polyphony Digital, giving life to the Ferrari Vision GT, defined as “the Ferrari design manifesto”.
Polyphony Digital now has 200 members, but the original staff still remain in the studio. “I don’t think there are many video game franchises in the world that have continued for 25 years with the same title and with the same team”, explains Kazunori Yamauchi. Excellent achievement for the most historic saga of PlayStation. We hope that in 2023 Polyphony can honor these 25 years of history with the promised updates, including the futuristic GT Sophy.
Source: Playstation Blog