We’re sure Polyphony Digital and Sony didn’t expect the International Automobile Federation (the French acronym for the FIA is now in circulation, and we’ll use it from now on) to kick Gran Turismo out…
The FIA first held its Motorsport Games event in 2019, where Gran Turismo Sport was used as the organisation’s eSports game. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, so the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 but will return this October. In the meantime, Polyphony Digital has released Gran Turismo 7, but it’s not as eSports-centric as GT Sport was. The FIA-certified Gran Turismo championship is in part seven, but the organisation’s branding is less present than in the previous title.
GTPlanet spotted the FIA’s announcement. The international motorsports federation says it won’t be Gran Turismo 7 that eSports drivers will be racing this year, but Assetto Corsa Competizione. Players participating in the championship will drive GT3 cars, and Kunos Simulazioni will create a custom version of the chosen track (Paul Ricard) to ensure no player has a practice advantage. The final round of the championship, which starts on October 27, will be held on October 29.
It marks the end of the partnership between FIA Motorsport Games and Gran Turismo, as the FIA has chosen a completely different game and franchise for this year’s championship. Polyphony Digital’s IP also has its own official eSports series, but it should be seen as a setback for the Japanese studio and Sony. (And it doesn’t matter whether eSports racers will be playing on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series or PC…)
So Gran Turismo 7 has been hit hard, with cars in the game becoming much more expensive with real money, the 1.07 update making the game unplayable for a day and a half after it was supposed to be a single-player game. Still, Sony has made it internet-connected, and who knows what monetisation pitfalls lie ahead.