M2, GT-R, Polestar 1... but no Supra?
Need for Speed Heat is one of this year's most anticipated racing games. Announced last week, Need for Speed Heat takes the long-running series back to its roots with a mix of sanctioned and illegal street races, comprehensive car chases, and intense police chases. The reveal trailer featured several licensed cars competing in street races including the . Since then, Electronic Arts has revealed the full car list for Need for Speed Heat, including a BMW M2, Nissan GT-R, and, surprisingly, a heavily modified Polestar 1 hybrid. Since then, EA has revealed the full car list for Need for Speed Heat. In total, 127 cars will feature in the game. Notably absent on the car list, however, is the 2020 Toyota GR Supra. In fact, Toyota doesn't feature in the game at all.
Not featuring the Supra in one of this year's most popular racing games seems like a missed opportunity to promote the Japanese sports car. One disappointed fan contacted Toyota's UK Twitter account to ask why none of the manufacturer's cars are featured in Need for Speed Heat. This was Toyota UK's reponse: "You can find our cars in GT Sport, which doesn't promote illegal street racing." This perhaps wasn't the most tactful response.
It's ironic considering that the MK IV Supra is one of the most iconic movie cars of all time starring in the original Fast & Furious, which focused on street racing. Toyota didn't seem to have a problem with that. In fact, the Supra is making a triumphant return in Fast & Furious 9. The controversial Tweet was promptly deleted, but Reddit users managed to save some screenshots.
Toyota used to feature in popular racing franchises such as Need for Speed and Forza Motorsport, but the only way to take the new Supra for a virtual test drive is to boot up Gran Turismo Sport. This suggests Toyota has an exclusivity agreement with Polyphony Digital, the developer of the Gran Turismo series.
Sadly, it doesn't look like this situation will change for a long time, as Toyota UK has responded to the backlash saying it has no plans to license its cars for any racing game other than Gran Turismo Sport. Here's the response in full: "We love that you want to see our cars in all your favourite racing games, and honestly, we want the same thing. Most of us in the Toyota GB social media team fell in love with cars through games like TOCA, Daytona and Gran Turismo. One of us even has fond memories of Pole Position on the Atari!
Officially, Toyota Motor Corporation has no concrete plans to license its model range to any other games besides Gran Turismo Sport at the moment. When you challenge us as to why Toyotas don't appear in your favourite racing games, we don't want to reply to you with a generic message, but we're currently limited in what we can say and yesterday we got our response wrong. We'll be really excited to share our future plans with you as soon as we're able to. In the meantime, whether it's Gran Turismo Sport, Forza or Need for Speed, keep on racing."