An interview with Kazunori Yamauchi posted recently to the official PlayStation Blog in Japan
has made more information regarding Gran Turismo’s beginnings available, including the idea presentation brochure.
The initial half of the interview focuses on how the original Gran Turismo came to be as it approaches its 26th anniversary, with the second half of the talk tilting towards the Gran Turismo movie, which is currently playing in theaters across Japan.
It goes without saying that we’ve heard a lot about this subject on GTPlanet over the years. The youthful Yamauchi was initially employed by Sony Music Entertainment, but as part of the infant PlayStation project, he transferred to the recently established Sony Computer Entertainment.
One of Yamauchi’s initial ideas, Gran Turismo—originally just named “Sim Racing”—was a large endeavor that didn’t receive approval. With a successful project under his belt, Yamauchi was able to launch Gran Turismo as a result, which led to the creation of Motor Toon Grand Prix.
Yamauchi revealed the previously unheard of Gran Turismo idea during the interview, which was referred to as a “Hyper Real Driving Simulator” at the time.
According to the proposal, the target market for GT includes people who enjoy driving, children who may want to drive in the future, and those who would like to drive but are unable to. Additionally, it states that the game is a reaction to the stagnant racing game market of the day by offering a recreation of sports car life that will appeal to all auto fans.
The Calibra Touring Car and Lancia Delta HF Integrale displayed initially appeared in Gran Turismo 2, which is another intriguing observation about the pages shared.
Even when it was approved, it required a lot more effort. Yamauchi claims that he worked on GT alone at first and had to put together a team almost from scratch. To produce a demo version of Gran Turismo, he got in touch with Seiji Toda’s BANDIT Inc., which is probably best known for localizing Lemmings for the Japanese market.
Yamauchi had even resorted to sending letters to writers for computer publications, mentioning the Sharp-focused publication Oh! MZ/Oh! X. He met Takeshi Yokouchi and Akihiko Tan there, who are both currently employed by the Gran Turismo series.
Yamauchi says that things are considerably different now after talking about how tough it is to communicate with automakers and mentioning once more that Toyota was the first company to support Gran Turismo.
Yamauchi claims that automakers are now contacting Polyphony Digital to have their new models featured in Vision Gran Turismo or to create a vehicle for the game. He wonders if this is because the 20-year-old players of Gran Turismo in the 1990s are now the 45-year-olds at the forefront of the automotive businesses.
Another fascinating look inside the development of Gran Turismo, it highlights some of the difficulties encountered when making the original game.
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