On December 23, 1997, the first entry in the Gran Turismo video game franchise went on sale in Japan. As of November 16, 2022, cumulative sales of the titles are over 90 million copies. To mark the 25th anniversary of the series, developer Polyphony Digital put out a video showcasing the experience's evolution over the years. Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi also posted a statement about the milestone on the PlayStation Blog.
When he joined Sony, Yamauchi had been part of a movie production club since he was 14. He wanted to work in the company's image products division, but the business assigned him to the department creating the original PlayStation console. "That place was not what I had hoped for, but looking back now, you could say that I was very lucky," he wrote on the PlayStation Blog.
Gallery: Gran Turismo November Update
Gran Turismo development started with him, two part-time artists, and three engineers. Today, Polyphony Digital has a staff of over 200 people. The founding members of the team are still with the company.
After the original Gran Turismo launched in Japan, folks in the rest of the world had to wait a few months to play the game. It went on sale in Europe on May 8, 1998. North America got the game on May 12, 1998. The title was a big hit with roughly 10.85 million copies sold worldwide.
Gran Turismo 7 is the latest game in the franchise. It launched on PlayStation 4 and 5 on March 4, 2022. Since then, Polyphony Digital has supported the title with monthly updates, including new cars, tracks, photo backgrounds, and other features.
Given Yamauchi's early passion for film production, he's probably excited about the Gran Turismo movie that's in production. He's an executive producer on the project. Shooting started in November for a planned theatrical premiere on August 11, 2023.
The film tells the true story of Gran Turismo player Jann Mardenborough who takes part in the GT Academy competition and becomes a professional race car driver. The cast includes David Harbour and Orlando Bloom. Neill Blomkamp is directing.
Sources: Gran Turismo TV via YouTube, PlayStation Blog