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The Last Man on Earth You Want Working to a Tight Deadline

If it took 5+ years to make one of these, there’d be no Ferrari

Kazunori Yamauchi, father of all things Gran Turismo (and Sky Blazer alas!) is, quite literally, the last person I’d ever hire to work to even a loose deadline, let alone one that would have cost me north of $60 million dollars (at last count some time ago) over the course of five, long, years1:

“About 90 per cent of the game is done,” Yamauchi told Inside Line (thanks VG247). “We are just working on the last 10 per cent and polishing up everything.”

Which would be fair enough, except it’s exactly what he said in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And indeed roughly what he said in October.

Now I don’t care about this game at all, and I understand the idea of ‘not rushing perfection’2, but someone at SCE should have, years ago, put the brakes on this out-of-control, high spec, game development type R if only because it probably could have shipped, well, years ago, collected rave reviews, sold millions, helped the PS3’s flagging fortunes and had a sequel ready to go this year.

Instead, they let the raving eccentric go on and on and on and on with no real end in sight and is, yet again, a microcosm for the serious problems Sony has had for 90% (see what I did there?) of this generation. (This is assuming, of course, Yamauchi doesn’t have pics of Howard Stringer caught using a Samsung TV at home or other, compromising, material like that Kaz Hirai’s biz degree3 is, based on SCE’s performance, from Okinawa CC.)

I think it’s even fair to ask if this game is going to make 2010, at this point, and you can pretty much write off Europe right now as the game powerslides into its eighth(!) year in development on its 3.6 millionth set of tires.

1 Did I mention that was five, long, years as of 2008? No. Oh, well, there you go.
2 There’s not rushing and there’s a laconic, eh, we’ll get it done when we get it done attitude that seems to infect high grade Japanese devs and leads, ultimately, to their destruction See: Suzuki, Yu and the debacle saga that was Shen Mue.
3 Haha, just kidding! Kaz has a Bachelor of Arts degree.

  1. kog3100_edw
    05/04/2010 at 16:08

    Although Gran Turismo lost me early on in its release history, I still keep tabs on what’s up with it since it is still a racing game yardstick. But I think that sh*t should be over. Gran Turismo is a whole lot of hoopla headed by a guy who has no concept of balancing quality with timing, his market, and expectations. We are ALL sure the graphics engine will be stupendous. We are sure the car models will be the best yet. But is it worth it? Worth the wait for the players or worth the investment for Sony? I see a Blu-ray-esque analogy here. It isn’t that there is NO difference between DVD and Blu-ray it is that most viewers can’t tell enough of a difference for them to upgrade. Maybe there’ll be a paradigm shift when enough customers own giganto-HD TV sets.

    And if the past is any indication the game surrounding all those pretty cars will be dry, dry, DRY.

    Forza is available now. No need to wait on crazy auteur game designers.

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