|Digital Release||PlayStation 3
December 04, 2008 (EU)
January 15, 2009 (NA)
February 25, 2010 (JP)
|Delisting||January - July 2011|
|Links||SUMO Digital product page|
The last confirmed availability of GTI Club+ was January of 2011 when the game was on sale through the European PlayStation Store for the month. The earliest post questioning the game’s availability was on the PSNProfiles forum in July of 2011. At the time a commenter confirmed that download codes were still available through Amazon but that the DLC had already been removed. As of the time of this writing no online shops appear to have download codes for sale.
GTI Club+ and its DLC pack featured several licensed automobiles from Renault, Fiat, Volkswagen, BMW, and Lancia. It is assumed that the licensing deal for GTI Club+ expired roughly three years after the game launched in Europe and that Konami did not renew it. They instead made a new licensing deal for GTI Club Supermini Festa!, the 2010 home release of the arcade sequel to the original game, Rally Cote D’Azur. The digital version of Supermini Festa! for the PlayStation Portable is also delisted but physical copies for the Nintendo Wii are available for most territories.
It’s also possible that Konami had secured the car licensing deals for a much larger window of time, maybe even across multiple titles. Seeing that window close in 2011 may have motivated them to create the slew of GTI Club titles offered between 2008 and 2010.
About the Series
The original arcade title, GTI Club: Rally Cote D’Azur was released to arcades in 1996 followed by a sequel, Corso Italiano (GTI Club 2) in 2000. The final arcade installment, Supermini Festa! was released exclusively to Japanese arcades in 2008. Supermini Festa! was supported after release by high score competitions that Konami maintained online through 2010.
In the same year that Supermini Festa! was being released to arcades, SUMO Digital was completing an expanded home version of the original Rally Cote D’Azur for PlayStation 3. Released to Europe and the US in December 2008 and January 2009 respectively, the Japanese release was delayed for over a year to February 2010. February was the same month that the home version of Supermini Festa! was released for the PlayStation Portable in Japan and the US. The Wii version would see release in the US and Europe the following month in March of 2010. Supermini Festa! is both the last arcade and home installment in the GTI Club series.
About the Game
“The original arcade game was released to huge acclaim in 1996 and was a fun and manic free-roaming racer featuring four styles of rally car and a unique handbrake feature for sharp turns. GTI Club+ retains the open element of the original, but has been totally reworked in every aspect. Running at 720p at 60fps, the new game has all the modes of its arcade forebear, but takes the race online, allowing up to eight people to compete simultaneously.
The new game has been overseen by Konami’s European Product Planning department and developed by SUMO Digital Entertainment, and has been designed to boast all the content and add-ons expected of a next gen title. GTI Club+ brings the arcade game bang up to date with incredible visuals and speed, with the option to customise the various cars with bespoke paint jobs and decals. The original game’s four cars have also been expanded with a number of vintage and modern vehicles added to the roster.
In game, GTI Club+ also utilises a rear-view mirror for the in-car view, and a Sat Nav system to help traverse the open nature of the huge courses. Dizzying replays of key action, 5.1 sound including a remix of the coin-op’s music by Atjazz (Martin Iveson), and player-to-player voice comms also add to the camaraderie as players compete against each other. The game is also compatible with Sony’s Eye Toy HD, allowing users to see their rivals as they play.
With a full set of modes, including Free Run, Arcade and Bomb Tag, GTI Club+ sets a new standard for downloadable titles. Die-hard racers can test their mettle via worldwide rankings, while Konami is committed to expanding the game via regular downloads.”
Priced at €14,99/$9.99 US – 335Mb download