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Yamauchi:  Gran Turismo 5 's Development Cost Hit $60 Million
Yamauchi: Gran Turismo 5's Development Cost Hit $60 Million
November 5, 2009 | By Chris Remo

November 5, 2009 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

Polyphony Digital's long-awaited PlayStation 3 racing sim Gran Turismo 5 has cost publisher Sony a total of $60 million over its five-year development cycle, according to an estimate by series producer Kazunori Yamauchi.

Speaking in an Autoweek interview conducted during the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas this week, the Gran Turismo creator seemed to downplay the expense, taking into account Gran Turismo 5's scope: "There are other games that cost more," he said. "Considering the size and scale of the game, I think it's probably a fairly small amount."

Large or small, car companies may not be significantly helping out with that sum. Yamauchi says the studio hasn't accepted deals aimed at getting specific models into the game, although Polyphony and manufacturers have developed some "relationships where we collaborate to raise the level of the game."

The producer struck a similarly unconcerned tone when asked about the game's lengthy development period, pointing out how much redevelopment had to be done for the PlayStation 3 iteration of the game.

"From our perspective, it doesn't seem like that long a time," he said. "To make Gran Turismo 5, we threw away the legacy code from GT4 and started from scratch. It's been five years from [the release of] GT4, and that's the same amount of time it took to develop the first GT4. To create a game from scratch, that's the amount of time it takes to get it right."

(Purely in terms of initial retail release dates in Japan, there was slightly less than four years between the release of Gran Turismo 3 and Gran Turismo 4.)

But the next game won't take as long, Kazunori acknowledged, as it can largely build on the team's existing work. "GT5 represents a whole new operating system," he noted, while "GT6 is just new apps that run on the GT5 system."

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Alan Rimkeit
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Mmm, 60 million of epic awesomeness. I can't wait. Come one Polyphony give us the game all ready. I love how they started the engine from scratch. That means they can use this code for GT6 most likely GT7 when they are made. You know that they are going to make that money back hand over fist.

Amir Sharar
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They have already made that money back to a large extent with the release of GT5:Prologue, which was available as a digital download over PSN as well as retail for $40 USD. Various estimates put the game at 3 million sold, and some estimates that include PSN sales put it at over 4 million.

Do the math and it's clear that development costs are perhaps the last thing on PD (and Sony's) mind. Being a feature rich product is probably the biggest thing they are concerned with at the moment. That, and of course a timely release.

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Spending large amounts of money does not concern me. The only thing that concerns me is the release of the game.