Owners Of ‘Gran Turismo 7’ Locked Out Of Single Player Game When Online DRM Servers Go Down

from the more-like-gran-turisno,-amirite? dept

When someone asks me what DRM is, my answer is very simple: it’s anti-piracy software that generally doesn’t stop pirates at all, and, instead, mostly only annoys legitimate buyers. Well, then why do software and video game companies use it at all? Couldn’t tell you. Businesses really want to annoy their own customers? Apparently, yes. Timothy, when you say this doesn’t really stop pirates, you’re exaggerating, right? No, not at all.

The worst of the examples of legit customers getting screwed by video game DRM involve when a game or product is bricked simply because a publisher or its DRM partner simply shuts down the servers that make the DRM work, on purpose or otherwise.

Gran Turismo 7 was recently released on the PlayStation and is already facing major headwinds due to the public’s absolute hate for all the microtransactions included in the game. On top of that, the entire game, including the single player content, was rendered unplayable because the DRM servers that require an online check to play the game crumbled during a maintenance window.

The scheduled server maintenance, timed around the release of the version 1.07 patch for the game, was initially planned to last just two hours starting at 6 am GMT (2 am Eastern) on Thursday morning. Six hours later, though, the official Gran Turismo Twitter account announced that “due to an issue found in Update 1.07, we will be extending the Server Maintenance period. We will notify everyone as soon as possible when this is likely to be completed. We apologize for this inconvenience and ask for your patience while we work to resolve the issue.”

“Inconvenience” in this case means not being able to play the game the customer purchased. Like, basically at all. Why the single player content in a console game of all things should require an online check-in is completely beyond me. Console piracy is a thing, but certainly not much of a thing. There is zero chance that this DRM is worth the headache Sony now has on its hands.

A headache that lasted for more than a full calendar day, by the way. And a headache that Sony’s competitors picked up on to use in messaging to the public on social media.

For now, Gran Turismo 7 owners tired of waiting to play the game they bought are forced to look elsewhere for their racing fix. As EA and Codemasters have cheekily tweeted, Grid Legends “is a videogame with cars in it that you can play right now.” Imagine that!

Imagine that.

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Companies: sony

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Comments on “Owners Of ‘Gran Turismo 7’ Locked Out Of Single Player Game When Online DRM Servers Go Down”

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Anonymous Coward says:


> Apparently root-kit SONY had learned nothing at all.

How do you figure? Nobody went to jail for the rootkit, the company paid a pittance in settlements (possibly less than 1 million dollars), and people kept buying their products. Sony has presumably learned that they can keep abusing people with no real consequnces—so why change?

Anonymous Coward says:

Microsoft should make it clear all single player games should be playable offline with zero connection to the Web There’s no reason to have console games stop working if the server stops working unless it’s a multiplayer online game as far as I know there’s no one pirating Sony games for ps4 or ps5 considering most games are 100 to 200 gig in size and you can buy games cheap when they go on sale most single player games on the ps4 require no online connection to play unless you need to download a patch to update the game
And of course the servers will likely be switched on in 2 to 3 years as player nos fall there’s DRM built in to the discs and system os for Sony consoles
If someone wants to pirate a game they will pirate the pc version
Sony are selling every ps5 they can make this started a when the ps4 was released some console single players games requiring an online connection.

Anonymous Coward says:


Meanwhile, folks have figured out ways to automate play even with it being on console so that they can still avoid supporting micro transactions.

Other part not mentioned in the article is that the company rigged credit values by a significant percentage (20%? 30%?) in that 1.07 maintenance to further push people the microtransaction route.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Remember when you would pay for a game & you could play it on your machine??

No online checks, no in game advertising for tiny bits of content adding new pixels & a constant revenue stream for visual upgrades that do nothing.

If only gamers decided to stop allowing the industry to pick their wallets 1 vulture bite at a time for 10 copies of the same wireframe with different colors.

PaulT (profile) says:


“Remember when you would pay for a game & you could play it on your machine??”

Yes, I also remember that no matter how much you pretend otherwise those games still exist and are quite a lucrative market.

“If only gamers”

If only morons would stop pretending that gamers are a hive mind who do the same thing instead of a massive numbers of different groups of people that span generations who do very different things according to their tastes and needs.

Wouldn’t that be nice? People not being attacked for things they explicitly don’t do just because some moron wants to pretend they don’t exist?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If only morons would stop pretending that gamers are a hive mind who do the same thing instead of a massive numbers of different groups of people that span generations who do very different things according to their tastes and needs.

How does the parent comment suggest anything like that? Not all gamers tolerate shit like this, but “a massive number” do. Gamers who are against DRM and other restrictive copyright-related practices are a small minority. I think the point was that they need to become a big enough group to make companies like Sony and Microsoft care, or else this will keep happening.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Not all gamers tolerate shit like this, but “a massive number” do”

Perhaps, but I’m tired of reading attacks on the people who don’t.

At this point in history, “gamer” is as descriptive as “music listener”. Yet, I don’t read constant tired attacks on people who listen to music every time a major record label does something shady.

Anonymous Coward says:

I used to be a gamer. Yes I remember when there was no DRM at all.

Today the gaming houses want you on line. The big plus is they see through data mining what you like and don’t like, so they can sell that data to the advertising houses for yet more money.

One TV maker admitted the datamining was more profitable than selling the tvs.

And then there are some games you get advertisements in. Some of those want to change the ads depending on who is paying to have them in the game.

As much as anything, the datamining, the requirement you stay on line to play at home, and the looking for yet more profit beyond just selling the game has really turned me off. I’ve pretty much stopped buying games solely for this reason. Microtransactions is just another straw piled on the camel.

Anonymous Coward says:

If they want to they could patch the game and set it to allow single player play with no Internet connection I know this game has online racing modes , that’s OK, there’s new games released on consoles still that don’t need constant online connections for single player mode they want you to spend money buying cars so obviously they don’t want cheaters getting cars for nothing by some offline hack

John85851 (profile) says:

What happens to Sony?

The big question is what happens to Sony after this? Complaining is good, but not buying any more Sony products would send a stronger message. But how many gamers will swear off Sony products or Sony games over this one issue?
The problem is that there’s no accountability: game companies pull this nonsense all the time, but they dont suffer much backlash for it. And if there’s no backlash, there’s no incentive for them to stop the nonsense.

xyzzy (profile) says:

More than DRM

Bad in itself, this is about more than simple DRM and an outage of a couple of weeks, this is about representing a game as one thing, pre-release, and then post-release, just because you are always connected, the game is will be updated and fundamentally changed, and it becomes less fun, and a lot more expensive to play. You suddenly realize you paid a lot of money to buy a “game”, only to have to pay even more to progress in the game.

DRM is the enforcement arm of something much worse.

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