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How Gran Turismo 7’s New Die Cast Photo Mode Came To Be

Desperation breeds innovation.
Gran Turismo 7, Chris Tsui

Gran Turismo 7 players received an unexpected treat when July’s title update brought a new and very left-field Scapes location: Tomica Town. Turns out, the racing game’s delightful new photo mode backdrop wouldn’t have happened at all if it weren’t for COVID-related lockdowns.

For the uninitiated, Scapes is a GT game mode in which you can plop the game’s cars into real-world, quasi-three-dimensional backdrops and take pictures. The majority of these are vistas of interesting streets, notable natural landmarks, or certain spots at racetracks from all around the world. But this latest one takes place in a fantastical Tomica playset—Japanese Hot Wheels, essentially—in which the “real” Gran Turismo cars are the same size as those 1:67-scale die-casts.

Here are some visuals for the Olds among you still confused.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

The whole thing came as a pretty big surprise to fans given Gran Turismo‘s typically very serious, very grown-up (almost to a fault) vibe. As reported by GTPlanet, the idea actually came to be in the throes of lockdown in 2020.

In a translated tweet, Polyphony Digital Scapes developer Hiroshi Kanzaki explained, “Two years ago, during the declaration of a state of emergency, we were in a situation where we couldn’t shoot at all, so it was a desperate idea, but I’m glad it was well received!! I am deeply grateful to Takara Tomy for their kind cooperation.”

It’s said that desperation breeds innovation, and GT7‘s very creative new Scapes location is definitely an unexpected pandemic-era innovation. It has also given way to this adorably glorious crossover between three Japanese automotive institutions: Takumi’s AE86 stop-motion-drifting around a Tomica Town playset in Gran Turismo 7.

GT7 is playable on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. Read The Drive‘s review of the game here.

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