When the officials in Siena in Tuscany complained that Gran Turismo 5 featured the setting of their historic horse race, and that they could sue, they probably didn’t expect they’d be helping the game to sell more copies.
The Piazza del Campo is featured in GT5, and not only is it the site of an historic horse race, but Polyphony Digital also included the flags and colours of the 17 districts which take part in it.
But according to a blog post on the official Sony Italy site (here’s an English version via Google Translate), all it seems to have done so far is to boost pre-orders in the one videogame shop in Siena. The owner of the shop is quoted by a local newspaper as saying that there was really a lot of free publicity.
And in the meantime the banners relating to the horse race have been removed. So the outcome is that GT5 sells more copies in the area, but less people are exposed to anything to do with the horse race.