Gran Turismo 7 has been delayed until 2022.
The news comes from a GQ interview, of all places, with Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan. In the interview, Ryan rattled off a list of games that have remained on target for launch despite the pandemic, which included Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon Forbidden West, but notably did not include the Real Driving Simulator. Which prompted the interviewer to ask about GT7.
At this point a PR representative for Sony jumped into the call promising a statement on GT7 – probably in the hope that we’d actually ask about some of the many new announcements. You can read that statement below...
“GT7 has been impacted by Covid-related production challenges and therefore will shift from 2021 to 2022. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months. We’ll share more specifics on GT7’s release date when available.”
I fully believed we’d play GT7 this year. We’re approaching four years since Gran Turismo Sport’s release, and GT7 was mentioned as 2021 launch multiple times in Sony’s marketing materials. At a certain point, it became clear the game slipped into the latter half of 2021, which wasn’t terribly surprising as a blockbuster release of GT7's caliber would probably be best around the holidays.
Besides, GT Sport already presents a great foundation for GT7, and the only piece of media we’ve seen of the upcoming title to date showed gameplay that looked similar to Sport’s, only prettier thanks to the PlayStation 5's advanced hardware. You’d think this would bode well for development, as it means Polyphony Digital wouldn’t have to do a ton of heavy lifting to rebuild its game engine and so forth for the new console, instead focusing on adding content and fleshing out the single-player campaign.
But COVID-19 got in the way, as COVID-19 has and will continue to do. Of course, any GT fan will remind you that Polyphony doesn’t have a sterling history of shipping games on time even aside from the challenges posed by a global pandemic, and so perhaps we all should have seen this coming. Either way, it won’t dull the sting of GT7's absence.
If there’s a silver lining to GT7 slipping into next year, I suppose it’s that those who were waiting for the game to pull the trigger on a PS5 (raises hand) can now afford to wait longer. PS5s are still difficult to find today, even almost four months since the system’s launch, so a little more breathing room isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Unfortunately, GT7's disappearance now leaves racing game fans without anything major to look forward to over the next nine months. The Forza Motorsport reboot does not appear to be ready for release this year, judging from the very limited in-engine game footage Microsoft showed off in 2020. And while Codemasters likely has some projects in the works, we don’t yet know what they are. E3 should give us more information on those fronts, but until then, things are looking bleak.