Sony is in trouble once again for recreating a real-world location, this time in Gran Turismo 5.
Sony was criticized by church authorities two years ago for publishing Insomniac Games' Resistance: Fall of Man which had gamers gunning down alien creatures in a virtual recreation of the Manchester Cathedral. Now, Sony is facing the same kind of trouble again for Polyphony Digital's realistic depiction of a location in Italy for its go kart track in Gran Turismo 5.
This time the problem doesn't involve a church, but Italy's Piazza del Campo, a public space used to host the Palio di Siena twice a year. The Palio di Siena is a patriotic rivalry in which representatives from the 17 contrade (districts) of Italian city Siena race horses while dressed in colors and garb from their respective areas. The Consortium for the Protection of the Palio is upset that Polyphony Digital used images of each contrade's flags in its representation of the Piazza del Campo as a go kart track.
Anna Carli, CEO of the Consortium, says: "You can not use images of Contrade, in this case the flags, without authorization. Given the relevance of the game with no history and references to our party, in particular with the use of images of flags of the contrade, we would not authorize use."
The Consortium will be making a diplomatic request to Sony to remove the images of the flags. If Sony does not comply, the organization may attempt to have Gran Turismo 5's release halted by law. The flags are clearly visible on the track in the beginning of the accompanying video, and as players drive around it. Though it seems like an easy enough fix, it'd be a shame if Gran Turismo 5 is delayed yet again after six years since Gran Turismo 4 due to the misuse of flag imagery. I think the hardcore Gran Turismo fans might start an international incident.