Normally when there's Twitter-related automotive controversy, we assume it's at the hand of Elon Musk. But not this time. major brand Toyota is the most recently criticized auto group online for a Twitter statement.
It began on Tuesday, when someone tweeted at the Toyota UK Twitter account, asking why the popular performance vehicle, the Toyota Supra, was absent from the upcoming Need For Speed Heat game. Their response?
"You can find our cars in "[Gran Turismo] Sport," which doesn't promote illegal street racing."
At face value, we could see why Toyota would take such a stance. But it was quickly met with backlash when folks pointed out the Toyota Supra's major appearance in the Fast and the Furious films, which features excessive street racing.
When pressed about this and asked why the car really can't be in other games, the account responded, explaining that "brand licensing is a complex issue" and that "This is negotiated by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan."
Though, the internet being the obsessive place it is, people continued to pressure the social media account, prompting them to delete the original tweet and make an official statement on Wednesday.
"About last night...
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."
All in all, it sounds like there's a special brand deal between Gran Turismo and Toyota that keeps them from letting the Supra be in other games and that their original response was taken a bit more seriously than they intended for it to be. Neither of these sound that surprising. Though it was a shortsighted tweet, we admit.