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Gran Turismo: A Sales History - News

by Miles Taven , posted on 18 July 2011 / 9,990 Views

Welcome to a new regular feature here on VGChartz, where we dissect the sales - past, present and future - of the biggest franchises in the industry. Today we'll be looking at Sony's biggest ace, Gran Turismo. Watch out for other history lessons on Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil coming soon. If you would like to nominate one of your favourite franchises for analysis please leave a comment below; let your voice be heard!

A Brief History

Gran Turismo has come a long way since its humble origins, when the now revered Kazunori Yamauchi and his seven man development team started work on the original Gran Turismo back in 1992. Since the release of that first title (five years after work initially began on it), the Gran Turismo franchise has become synonymous with PlayStation consoles, and undoubtedly Sony's most important exclusive. Each Sony console has seen the release of at least one main-line Gran Turismo in its time, each achieving some truly staggering sales numbers. The latest release, Gran Turismo 5, has proven that there is still a huge demand for this most iconic of driving simulators, but how much has the series' sales relevance changed over time?

Sales Overview

The Gran Turismo franchise from a sales perspective follows a very interesting journey. The original debuted to more than 10 million units; very impressive for a new franchise, exclusive at that. Whilst EMEAA and Americas were on an almost even keel, Japan still put in decent numbers. Gran Turismo 2, which also came out on the original PlayStation, saw declines in each region. Americas held pretty strong, and EMEAA dropped 600,000 units, meaning GT2 is most popular in Americas. Still, the drop from GT1 to GT2 isn't that harsh for EMEAA given it did such good numbers in the first place. Japan, however, saw the largest drop - over 800,000 units. Given the original sold the least in Japan, it's clear the franchise wasn't resonating with the Japanese audience as well as it was with Western audiences.

Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec was the first GT on the very popular PS2, and so no surprises when it propelled the franchise much higher in each territory, except Japan. GT3 grew over 3,000,000 units in Americas over GT2, and over 2,100,000 in EMEAA. In Japan, however, it only managed a 180,000 unit rise. Whilst going in the right direction it pales in comparison to the other regions' gains. Gran Turismo 4 was the last outing on the PlayStation 2, which continued to prove the GT franchise was unpredictable when it came to sales. In Americas it shed more than half its sales over GT3, dropping a whopping 3,300,000 units, becoming the lowest selling GT in Americas. However, the opposite took place in EMEAA, as it grew over 650,000 units over GT3, becoming the best selling GT in EMEAA.

After a long wait, Gran Turismo 5 made its debut on the PlayStation 3. EMEAA continues to be the lead region, with more than 50% marketshare, whilst Japan saw yet another harsh drop from the previous iteration. Americas put in some solid numbers but are unlikely to reach any previous games' numbers in the region (depending on bundling of course). GT5 should follow a similar pattern to GT4 in Americas, maybe a little less, or a little more with significant bundling. In EMEAA GT5 is ahead of GT4 in the same timeframe, however GT4 saw some tremendous legs throughout the remainder of PS2s life. 10 million units is within grasp for GT5, even with the 600,000 unit loss from Japan (which is unlikely to grow unless it gets heavy bundling there).

From the chart above we can see Gran Turismo has been on a rollercoaster-esque path. The first outing was much more even across the board, whilst the second saw Americas take the lead. GT3 saw gigantic gains, in Americas especially, but then in the same generation sales plummeted and EMEAA actually grew significantly enough to take over as the dominant region for Gran Turismo. As it stands today EMEAA is still firmly GT's most favoured region. However, if we do see Gran Turismo 6, could we see yet another shock switch in popularity across regions?

Overall EMEAA sells the most Gran Turismo games, at 47% (24.34M), whilst Americas comes a close second a t38% (19.7M) and Japan is in a distant third at 15% (8.03M).

Along with the PSP version of Gran Turismo, which shifted 1.31 million copies (over 66% marketshare in EMEAA), and the various Prologue games, the total sales for the Gran Turismo franchise sit at 61.47 million units.

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Marks (on 18 July 2011)

I hope GT5 makes it to 10 million. Even 8 million would make me happy. Should be easy since its already over 6 million and GT games have long, sexy legs.

  • +6
MARCUSDJACKSON Marks (on 18 July 2011)

long sexy leg lol.

  • +2
gustave154 (on 18 July 2011)

Really cool feature! Its sad to say GT5 will probably be the only main GT game this generation though =[

  • +3
ethomaz gustave154 (on 20 July 2011)

I hope so.

  • -1
sales2099 (on 19 July 2011)

very unpredictable franchise

  • +2
Yoan79 (on 23 July 2011)

GT5 has an aged formula which claims shouting to be polished. It has the elements but fails to put the together in a excellent way. It must take advantage of the +1.000 cars creating races and challenging and exciting events, calculating your performance and the CPU's. The random garage is a waste of time and the regular A-spec events are mainless boring. Many things are done wrong when you have a lot of cars, tuning, tracks... and the whole works just fine. The series need fresh air! (of course I own GT5 and I have 910 cars in my garage, and every time I play it I feel that it lacks many things and that the game doesn't know what to do with the large number of good elements it has. Developers lost perspective and made a just a good game but a disappointing one)

  • +1
sales2099 (on 19 July 2011)

very unpredictable franchise

  • +1
TT Makaveli (on 20 July 2011)

@marks: yup...its now at 6 mill and that with a full price without bundling...10 mill should be easy if Sony do it right!

  • 0
piccoro (on 19 July 2011)

I hope Poliphony is producing GT6 for PS4 (launch title)

  • 0
Goddbless (on 19 July 2011)

From that chart it would seem that GT peaked at the 1st game in Japan, at GT 3 in America and at GT4 in EMEAA. This is however ignoring where GT5 will end up.

  • 0
ethomaz Goddbless (on 20 July 2011)

GT5 will peak the EMEAA because it was selling way better now in EMEAA.

  • 0
Alby_da_Wolf (on 19 July 2011)

Nobody did it yet, but it must be done, oh well, I guess it's my turn:

  • 0
bleach2091 (on 19 July 2011)

what about prologue??

  • 0
DonFerrari bleach2091 (on 20 July 2011)

Wouldn't be funy, because with it GT5 would already be at 10M, and trollers wouldn't be happy.

  • +1
Tridrakious (on 19 July 2011)

I would like to see one over Metal Gear Solid.

  • 0
usrevenge (on 19 July 2011)

Racers always do well in EU, GT is the main exclusive to sony in the racing series, i mean what else does it have to compete with? other then forza...

  • 0
CGI-Quality (on 18 July 2011)

Nice, informative piece. One of the largest and powerful franchises to ever exist!

  • 0
ethomaz (on 18 July 2011)

Good article... I approve this new feature.


1) Which the next games? Halo, Call of Duty, etc.
2) The article uses the shipped data or VGC data? VGC I guess (almost certain).

  • 0
Seece ethomaz (on 18 July 2011)

VGC of course, and I havn't decided on the next one. Halo has already been done ...

  • +2
ethomaz ethomaz (on 20 July 2011)

Thanks... I will search the Halo one.

  • 0
postofficebuddy (on 18 July 2011)

GT5 will probably match GT4 in Americas without any bundling. With heavy bundling it will likely beat it by a relatively significant margin (1-1.5 million).

  • -1
Dr.Grass (on 18 July 2011)

Good read. Would've been good if the bundling of GT3 with PS2 was also mentioned.

  • -1
ethomaz Dr.Grass (on 18 July 2011)

Yeap... in US... it sold almost twice any other GT in the history due bundles.

  • -1
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  • -2
Heavenly_King (on 19 July 2011)

GT5 is on track to sell 10M I think

  • -2
Michael-5 (on 18 July 2011)

No regional estimates for GT5? No explanation on why GT3 may have suddenly been popular in Americas (Heavy Bundling)? Common, Pokemon and Halo were done better, this franchise deserved the same depth and attention.

As for Nominations The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, or Forza Motorsport.

Try to compare any future works with other titles in the franchise, and for games where regions play a dominant role, include regional estimates.

  • -2
VMEfinn (on 18 July 2011)

I'll start playing it again when it comes available on PSN. I hate swapping disks

  • -5
DonFerrari VMEfinn (on 20 July 2011)

Swap disk one to disk one?

  • +2
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