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Featured Pikes Peak Goes Exclusive to PolyPhony Digital - Why?

Discussion in 'Gran Turismo Sport' started by Paul Jeffrey, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Pikes Peak Exclusive PolyPhony Digital Deal 2.jpg
    Polyphony Digital have secured a long term exclusive licence to ensure the fabled Pikes Peak International Hill Climb becomes an exclusive event for future Gran Turismo games.

    Revealed via a recent 'Ask me Anything' session with the makers of DiRT Rally, it appears that game making giants Polyphony Digital have secured a deal to have the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event licenced exclusively for their games in the foreseeable future, preventing an appearance in title's such as the DiRT series, which featured Pikes Peak as recently as 2015's immensely popular DiRT Rally.

    First let's give you a bit of background on the event itself. The Pikes Peak Hillclimb event has been a semi regular fixture on the American and international racing scene since hosting it's first event back in 1916. The race takes place on almost 20km of twisting and winding roads consisting of no less that 156 turns. As is the case in hill climb events, the stage gradually winds itself up hill until reaching a height of 14,110 feet at it's very summit - so it's pretty steep, it's pretty challenging and it's pretty popular.

    Nowadays the Pikes Peak highway is fully paved as apposed to the full and part gravel, part tarmac affairs that characterised earlier runnings of the Colorado race. With each yearly event hosting on average well over 100 competitors in a wide variety of machines and classes, the race can be considered a popular event, although still nowhere near achieving the international recognition received for such classics as the Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hour, Dakar, Nordschleife or the Indy 500 for example.

    So why exactly have Polyphony Digital gone out and secured the rights to a track that most developers aren't exactly knocking on the door to secure in the first place, and what does this mean for future trends in sim racing if a particular track can be locked down for exclusive use in a specific sim? Nothing good that's for sure...

    We are all no doubt aware of the negative press surrounding Porsche / EA Sports exclusivity debacle that has kept the famous German brand away from decent racing games these past few years, same with the Codemasters lock down on the Formula One licence, but has this happened in relation to a specific circuit before? *

    Not to the best of my knowledge it hasn't, and for me this is a worrying sign of how things could progress in the coming years as the almighty dollar takes precedent over what's best for the sim racing genre as a whole.

    Sim racing games, as in any commercially sold goods, works or services, can claim competition from rival development projects as one of the main motivations behind continually improving and enhancing their own products. The same applies to the content contained within those games. Without competition one can easily succumb to complacency and in those kinds of situations nobody wins. Content locked down under an exclusivity deal (in this case Pikes Peak) doesn't get represented across a wider audience base of different games, fans lose out on playing that specific piece of content in their simulators of choice, and of course no one has the need to push themselves in order to go that little bit further to achieve acknowledgement that their version is indeed the most satisfying and most accurate of those available. One only needs to look at the legendary Nordschleife as a perfect example of this. Just imagine if game x secured an exclusive licence for the track, we wouldn't then have the laserscanned Assetto Corsa and RaceRoom editions we enjoy today, or the extra special levels of detail and emotion that have gone into bringing this gigantic circuit to our favourite games.

    So why then have Polyphony Digital, a development studio not exactly renowned for making off road racing games, seen fit to wrap up a licence to use the track exclusively in Gran Turismo, depriving such title's as DiRT Rally from continuing to feature the track in their future games? Honestly I've got no idea.

    Gran Turismo has featured loose surface racing in past iterations of the series of course, however it's only ever really played at the dirty stuff, never actually having gone full out and produced a competent rally style simulation. So why the need to tie up a deal for Pikes Peak? Could this mean moves are afoot to branch out into rally racing in the coming year?

    Actually that's not as long of a shot as it would first appear.

    So could the licencing move by Polyphony be a first step towards seeing a standalone rally product from the developers, or at the very least an early indication that the Japanese studio might be looking to substantially increase off road content in future Gran Turismo releases? Well with the currently in development GT Sport marking a substantial shift in direction from previous games within the franchise, we now know Polyphony are perhaps more inclined to mix things up a bit compared to what was previously the case, so the timing could well be right for a change.

    Many virtual drivers have been vocal about the quality of recent GT releases, and with greater competition than ever before in the form of fresh console games Assetto Corsa, Project CARS and the new for 2018 GTR3, perhaps the studio are looking to broaden their horizons in a quest to maintain the enviable position atop of the racing game pile Gran Turismo still maintains.

    If GT now and in the future just want to bring Pikes Peak over to their game and decided the best way to do this would be to lock down the venue on a exclusivity agreement with the studio, then I think that's a rather sad outcome for sim racing as a whole, and something of a rather over protective move by the Japanese development team. One thing is for sure, with dedicated off road sims such as the DiRT series and Sebastien Loeb Rally having been denied the opportunity to replicate this monstrous event in future releases, whatever Polyphony do with the licence I hope they make it worth it.


    *to the best of my knowledge exclusivity agreements with specific tracks outside of series licences haven't happened before. Despite my research however I could quite easily be wrong!

    Gran Turismo 6 is the current latest title from Polyphony Digital. GT Sport is scheduled for release during 2017 for Sony PlayStation 4.

    Pikes Peak Exclusive PolyPhony Digital Deal 3.jpg Pikes Peak Exclusive PolyPhony Digital Deal 4.jpg Pikes Peak Exclusive PolyPhony Digital Deal.jpg

    Don't forget to check out the Gran Turismo Series sub forum here at RaceDepartment to keep abreast of all the latest news and discussion around these racing games. We have a dedicated section for GT6 and for the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport release, so stay tuned for all the information as and when it becomes available.

    Are you pleased to see the exclusive licence to use Pikes Peak has been secured by Polyphony Digital? Do you thing the move to licence a particular event is in the best interests of sim racing? Do you expect Polyphony to make produce an impressive version of the stage? Let us know in the comments section below!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  2. Slyfrequency

    Slyfrequency

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    GT Sport: THE Hillclimbing Simulator? Not that catchy but eh.

    To be honest, if a game says "Exclusive Pikes Peak Hillclimb" it doesn't make me want to buy the game, I've never raced it on Dirt Rally either, unless GT Sport is aiming to do big advertisements during the Pikes Peak hill climb event I don't see why this move is good or even worth it, hmm.

    Great write up Paul!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  3. hejsan_456

    hejsan_456

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    Never pleased to see exclusive licence of any kind, just makes for a kind of split community. Just like the Porsche+EA deal, if you wanted to drive porsche, you had to play an NFS title.
     
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  4. Ilya_K

    Ilya_K

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    I don`t give a single f... gear about it since I have ability to do Pikes Peak on any surface combo in the Dirt Rally :roflmao:
     
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  5. Daniel Trapp

    Daniel Trapp
    Anywhere but here Premium

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    Those exclusive deals are never a good thing,I hate that gamecompanies keep doing this... :(
     
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  6. delpinsky

    delpinsky

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    There are so many other hillclimb races worth to be portraited in game out there...



    :) ...and eventually, the ways of modding are infinte and Dirt Rally' Pikes Peak could be magically appear someday.
     
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  7. thewarmer

    thewarmer

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    It proved to be big mistake for Porsche, once the Sim market started to take off , some thing that many would not have seen coming back in the days they signed for EA & the NFS series.

    This deal Pikes Peak have made with PD will also fail , no Track or Car brand can any longer risk throwing all their egg's in one basket.
    Even more so with PD & GT . a fine game until the major cracks started to appear in GT4 , got worse in GT5 & some got fixed but the most still remain in GT6.

    GT Sport needs to at least match the standards of all those rivals now sharing the same PS4 platform , in one way PD has a mountain to climb just to get level with its rivals these days
    It is going to take a lot more to realize that goal than trying to buy up exclusive rights to tracks or events

    GT would also be better served now has cross platform game, though Sony would never agree to that Idea.
     
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  8. aphidgod

    aphidgod
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    I wonder which one thought the other would raise its profile?
     
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  9. thewarmer

    thewarmer

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    I can only 100% agree With several Championships in Europe & FIA Championship , I still find it hard that no one has tried to Licences a Hill-climb series yet be it the FIA events of national series like the Berg cup in Germany or the French Mountain championship.

    These events have next to no major TV coverage , so it is about time they found there ways into a sim game.
     
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  10. -Alf-

    -Alf-

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    What's even funnier ( or sad ) is that players will not get more inclined to buy a GT game just because it has Pikes Peak. GT games aren't know for being " point-to-point " games, like Rally games. It's know for tons of cars in the game, and car-collecting.
    How many players will say " Hell Yeah!! I'm gonna buy GT just because it has Pikes Peak "? Not many, i'm sure...
    Another thing that worth to mention is that, most likely, we won't see Pikes Peak, in a GT game, till what? 2020? If not more...

    Imo, Pikes Peak doesn't increase any value, to the Franchise, and we all lose from this no-sense exclusive deal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  11. delpinsky

    delpinsky

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    @thewarmer
    I find those kind of races really interesting!
    CAMPIONATO ITALIANO VELOCITÀ MONTAGNA is another example ;)

    Let's hope someone (racing sims developer) will read...and take note.
     
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  12. Andy Kettler

    Andy Kettler

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    First the Porsche licence over decades by EA and now this... **** *** PD ! I hate this "Oh look we have it exclusive" nonsense...
     
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  13. Pywackett-Barchetta

    Pywackett-Barchetta

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    It has actually happened before; SEGA's Daytona USA, despite not including the actual Daytona International Speedway, locked down the rights to the name and logo in video games, which kept the course completely absent from NASCAR titles (among others, but most obviously the series where it's the flagship starting course) for years after its release.
     
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  14. @apocapollo

    @apocapollo

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    I remember this. When the exclusive licensee expired, including Daytona became a selling point that games displayed proudly on the front of the box.

    EDIT - I'd like to propose that maybe the Pike's Peak license has always been exclusive to one publisher and this is just the first we're hearing about it.
     
  15. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    Not sure about previously but I know both Seb Leob Rally and Codies DiRT Rally had it last year...
     
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  16. JayJayRaceinho

    JayJayRaceinho

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    ....pikes peak? hmm, couldn't care less...but why for GT Sports? Polyphony Digital/GT had it's best days during the ps1/2 time.

    I think their time is over and if the time is over....secure some exclusives with your big Pockets :D
    (HDR - "Feel the light" alone doesn't make a great racing game/sim :rolleyes:)
     
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  17. SpeedCre3ator

    SpeedCre3ator

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    Haha polyphony has a "mountain to climb"
     
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  18. Azure Flare

    Azure Flare
    Forever a backmarker Premium

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  19. Fred Locklear

    Fred Locklear
    Moving bollard Premium

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    So, I kinda wonder just how you can get "exclusive rights" for a "track" that is basically run over public roads?

    I'm not really sure just why the ppl who run the pikes peak race would want to even have an exclusivity contract. Back in the day, I would remember watching the hill climb on Wild World of Sports and such. When I heard about some electric cars/cycles trying to break records at Pikes Peak I went to go see if I could find some streams online or at least some coverage.

    There were no streams, and IIRC there was really no live timing and any coverage of the climb was sparse. Maybe they are desperate for some money and this is the only way they could get a chunk. The lack of finding info about the hill climb was a sign to me of its lack of relevance. Locking away content from other games is definitely the wrong way of trying to make your event relevant again.
     
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  20. aka2k

    aka2k

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    Would love to see Sony taking the Microsoft road and release GT to Windows. It's more than time to do that. GT hasn't moved consoles in a long while.
     
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